Maintaining a healthy lifestyle involves many choices. Eating a diet that provides a variety of essential nutrients is among the most important. Nutrients include proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, a healthy 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
Stays within your daily calorie needs

Some Healthy Tips on Healthy Eating:

  • Eat a variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables.
  • Eat more chicken, fish, and turkey.
  • Limit red meats such as beef and pork.
  • Limit bacon and sausage.
  • Choose whole grain foods like bread, rice, oats, and pasta.
  • Eat more beans, peas, nuts and nut butters more often.
  • Limit consumption of sugar or sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Include nonfat or low-fat milk and dairy products.
  • Look at My Plate and compare if your diet contains all nutrients.

Check the Nutrition Label for how many calories and servings you need.

Grains: 6-8 servings per day

  • 1 slice of bread is one serving
  • ½ cup cooked rice, pasta, or cereal

Vegetables: 4-5 servings per day

  • 1 cup leafy vegetables
  • ½ cup cut up vegetables
  • ½ cup vegetable juice

Fruits: 4-5 servings per day

  • 1 medium fruit (size of baseball)
  • ½ cup fresh or canned fruit
  • ½ cup fruit juice

Dairy Products: 2-3 servings per day

  • 1 cup fat-free/low-fat milk or yogurt
  • 1 ½ oz fat-free/low-fat cheese

Meats: Less then 6 oz per day

  • 3 oz cooked meat or fish

Fats: 2-3 servings per day

  • 1 tsp margarine
  • 1 Tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp salad dressing

Nuts/seeds: 4-5 servings per week

  • 1/3 cup nuts
  • 2 Tbsp peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp seeds
  • ½ cup beans

Sweets/sugars: 5 or less servings per week

  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp jam