Healthy eating, along with other healthy lifestyle choices such as regular physical activity, can lead to benefits such as lowering high blood pressure, helping control weight and reducing the risk for other chronic diseases including cancer, diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Follow these steps from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 and use the MyPlate model to enjoy a healthy diet every day!
Build a healthy plate
Before you eat, think about what goes on your plate or in your cup or bowl. Foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products, and lean protein foods contain the nutrients you need without too many calories. Try some of these options:
Cut back on foods high in solid fats, added sugars, and salt
Many people eat foods with too much solid fats, added sugars, and salt (sodium). Added sugars and fats load foods with extra calories you don't need. Too much sodium may increase your blood pressure.
- Choose foods and drinks with little or no added sugars.
- Look out for salt (sodium) in foods you buy - it all adds up.
- Eat fewer foods that are high in solid fats.
Eat the right amount of calories for you
Everyone has a personal calorie limit. Staying within yours can help you get to or maintain a healthy weight. People who are successful at managing their weight have found ways to keep track of how much they eat in a day, even if they don't count every calorie.
- Enjoy your food, but eat less.
- Cook more often at home, where you are in control of what's in your food.
- When eating out, choose lower calorie menu options.
- Write down what you eat to keep track of how much you eat.
- If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so sensibly - limit to 1 drink a day for women or to 2 drinks a day for men.
Last Updated 03/01/2017