To prevent disease, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend
a healthy eating pattern. All food and drink choices matter. Healthy eating includes
eating lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat or nonfat dairy products
or fortified soy beverages, and lean proteins. The guidelines also emphasize:
the food you eat with your activity to reach and stay at a healthy weight.
These guidelines from the United States Department
of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Department of Health and Human Services
(HHS) are updated every 5 years to promote health and reduce risk for major chronic
Key recommendations for the general public include the following.footnote 1
Eat and drink the right amount for you. MyPlate is the U.S. government's food guide.
It can help you make your own well-balanced eating plan.
Avoid oversized portions.
and/or reduce overweight and obesity through healthy eating and physical activity.
your total calorie intake to manage your weight. For people who are overweight or
obese, this means eating fewer calories from foods and drinks.
physical activity, and reduce the time you are not moving.
Eat enough calories,
but not too many, during each stage of life-childhood, adolescence, adulthood, pregnancy
and breastfeeding, and older age.
foods that supply the type of iron that is more easily absorbed by the body. Examples are fish, poultry, and
meat. And eat foods that are other sources of iron, such as lentils, beans, cereals,
Eat foods that help the body absorb iron, such as foods rich in
Eat 8 to 12 ounces of seafood
a week. Vary the types of seafood you eat.
Avoid fish high in mercury by not eating tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, shark,
swordfish, king mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, and bigeye tuna. Other types of fish,
such as white albacore tuna, should only be eaten once a week (no more than 4 ounces).
you are pregnant, take a prenatal supplement as recommended by your doctor.
people 50 years and older:
Eat foods fortified with vitamin B12, such as fortified cereals.
Foods to reduce
Compare sodium in foods
like soup, bread, and frozen meals-and choose the foods with lower numbers.
water instead of sugary drinks.
Reduce daily sodium intake to less than
2,300 milligrams (mg).
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services,
U.S. Department of Agriculture (2015). 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans
8th ed. http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/. Accessed January 12,
Staff Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen
Romito, MD - Family Medicine Elizabeth T. Russo,
MD - Internal Medicine Specialist Medical ReviewerRhonda O'Brien, MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2015). 2015-2020
Dietary Guidelines for Americans 8th ed. http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/.
Accessed January 12, 2016.
This information does not replace the advice of a doctor.
Healthwise, Incorporated, disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this