Tip of the Day
Everyday Eating for a Healthier You
National Nutrition Month® calls attention to the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits, making it the perfect time to review the basics of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The Dietary Guidelines encourage Americans to improve their health by eating more:
- Whole grains: Choose whole-grain breads and cereals, brown rice and whole-wheat pasta. Make at least half the grains you eat during the day whole grains.
- Vegetables: Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green, red and orange vegetables, plus beans and peas. Most adults need 2½ cups of vegetables per day.
- Fruits: Whether fresh, frozen or canned, fruit is a great addition to meals, on-the-go snack and low-calorie dessert. Aim to eat about 2 cups of fruit each day. When choosing canned fruit, look for varieties canned in 100 percent juice or water, to reduce added sugar intake.
- Low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt and cheese or fortified soy beverages: These products are packed with calcium, vitamin D, protein and potassium. Aim for 3 cups per day, and if you are lactose intolerant, a great option is lactose-free milk. Read more about managing lactose intolerance.
- Healthy vegetable oils such as canola, corn, olive, peanut and soybean: These are high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Use in moderate amounts in place of solid fats.
- Seafood: Include a variety of seafood more often in place of some meat and poultry.
While these are all great foods you may eat, the Dietary Guidelines also encourage Americans to eat less:
- Added sugars
- Solid fats, including trans fats
- Refined grains
To learn more about the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and how you can turn them into practical solutions for healthy living, consult a registered dietitian in your area and visit our Nutrition Education Resources or National Nutrition Month pages.
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Reviewed January 2013