Making Smart Food Choices

Regular physical activity and a healthy diet go hand in hand. Go4Life points you to wise food choices important for good health: eat a variety of healthy foods, fill up half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, and limit solid fats and added sugars.

A line of red, yellow, orange, and green bell peppersThe Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest you:

  • Try to choose grain products made from whole grains.
  • Vary your veggies. Brighten your plate with vegetables that are red, orange, and dark green.
  • Eat more fruit. Try some you haven’t eaten before.
  • Choose lean meats, poultry, seafood, beans, eggs, and nuts.
  • Choose low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
  • Get plenty of fluids each day such as water, fat-free or low-fat milk, and low-sodium broth-based soups.
  • Limit saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars.

Some tips to help you get started:

  • Breakfast is a good time to enjoy foods with fiber. Try unsweetened, whole-grain, or bran cereals and add fruit such as berries and bananas.
  • Snack on unpeeled apples, pears, and peaches. Don’t forget to rinse them before eating.
  • Season foods with lemon juice, herbs, or spices.
  • Broil, roast, bake, steam, microwave, or boil foods instead of frying.
  • Use oils instead of solid fats, like butter, when cooking.
  • Read What’s On Your Plate?, the National Institute on Aging guide to healthy eating.

Quick Tip

To maintain a healthy weight, balance the calories you take in from food and beverages with the calories burned through physical activity.

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