Choosing a Healthy Diet

To be healthy, you need to eat a variety of foods. Using MyPlate is recommended because it provides the amount and variety of food you need each day to stay healthy. Consuming a variety of healthy foods ensures that you obtain all the nutrients you need—calories, protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, fiber and water. The latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2010), was released on Jan. 31, 2011 and emphasizes three major goals for American diets:

  • Balance calories with physical activity to manage weight
  • Consume more of certain foods and nutrients such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood
  • Consume fewer foods with sodium (salt), saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, and refined grains

Eating right and being physically active are the keys to a healthy lifestyle. By maintaining healthy habits, you may reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer and increase your chances of a longer life. A healthy meal plan emphasizes:

  • Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, skim or low-fat milk and milk products.
  • Lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and nuts.
  • Low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, sodium (salt) and sugar.

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