We are living longer but not necessarily healthier. While many get enough food the overall American diet quality is poor. About half of all American adults have one or more preventable, diet-related chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and overweight and obesity. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans provide key recommendations to improve not only our diets but our health.
Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan. Choose a healthy eating pattern at an appropriate calorie level to help achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, support nutrient adequacy, and reduce the risk of chronic disease.
Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount. To meet nutrient needs within calorie limits, choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods across and within all food groups in recommended amounts.
Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake. Cut back on foods and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium.
Shift to healthier food and beverage choices. Choose nutrient-dense foods and beverages instead of less healthy choices.
Support healthy eating patterns for all. Everyone has a role in helping to create and support healthy eating patterns in multiple settings nationwide, from home to school to work to communities.
A healthy eating pattern includes:
A healthy eating pattern limits:
Making changes to what we eat can be challenging – how and where to start? Choose one or two of the above. Need help? Check out our many DAHLC nutrition resources – programs, cooking classes, informational posters, and/or meet our DAHLC dietitians.