DIETARY GUIDELINES

Adequate nutrients within calorie population

  • Consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods and beverages within and among the basic food groups while choosing foods that limit the intake of saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, salt and alcohol.
  • Meet recommended intakes within energy needs by adopting a balanced eating patter, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Guide or the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Eating Plan.

Weight Management

  • To maintain body weight in a healthy range, balance calories from foods and beverages with calories expended.
  • To prevent gradual weight gain over time, make small decreases in food and beverages calories and increase physical activity.

Food groups to encourage

  • Consume a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables while staying within energy needs. Two cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables per day are recommended for a reference 2,000-calorie intake, with higher or lower amounts depending on the calorie level.
  • Chose a variety of fruits and vegetable each day. In particular, select from all five vegetable subgroups (dark green, orange, legumes, starchy vegetables, and other vegetables) several times a week.
  • Consume 3 or more ounce-equivalents of whole-grain products per day, with the rest of the recommended grains coming from enriched or whole-grain products. In general at least half the grains should come from whole grains.
  • Consume 3 cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent milk products.

Fats

  • Consume less than 10 of calories from saturated fatty acids and less than 300 mg/day of cholesterol and keep trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible.
  • Keep total fat intake between 20 to 35 of calories, with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts and vegetable oils.
  • When selecting and preparing meat, poultry, dry beans, and milk or milk products make choices that are lean, low fat for fat-free.
  • Limit intake of fats and oils high in saturated and/or trans fatty acids, and choose products low in such fats and oils.

Carbohydrates

  • Choose fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains often.
  • Choose and prepare foods and beverages with little added sugars or caloric sweeteners, such as amounts suggested by the USDA Food Guide and the DASH Eating Plan.

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