A key to better health is making informed choices about the foods you eat. It would be pretty tough to figure it out all on your own, so every five years the government puts out the Dietary Guidelines— information that reflects the latest scientific findings about diet, physical activity and health.
The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans provide sound advice about diet and physical activity to promote good health and help prevent problems such as obesity, heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis and certain cancers.
What Do the Guidelines Tell You?
Messages for good health from the Dietary Guidelines:
Feel better today. Stay healthy for tomorrow. The food and physical activity choices you make every day affect your health—how you feel today, tomorrow, and in the future.
Make smart choices from every food group. A healthful eating plan:
- Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products.
- Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts.
- Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.
Mix up your choices within each food group. Eat a variety of nutrient-packed foods every day from each food group: Grains, Fruits, Vegetables, Milk, and Meat & Beans.
Find your balance between food and physical activity. Regular physical activity is important for your overall health and fitness. It also helps you control body weight by balancing the calories you take in as food with the calories you burn each day. Be physically active for at least 30 minutes most days of the week.
Get the most nutrition out of your calories. Choose the most nutrient-rich foods you can from each food group each day—those packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients but lower in calories.
Play it safe with food. Know how to prepare, handle, and store food safely to keep you and your family safe.
Drink alcohol in moderation. Moderate drinking means up to 1 drink a day for women and up to 2 drinks a day for men. Twelve ounces of regular beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1 1/2 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits count as a drink.
Want more tips? Check out the rest of the articles from BOCA.