What Does “Healthy Eating” Mean?

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, a healthy diet:Bag of healthy grocery items

  • Emphasizes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk products.
  • Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts.
  • Is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt, and added sugars.
  • Balances the calories you take in from food and beverages with the calories burned through physical activity to maintain a healthy weight.

Here are some tips to help you meet the guidelines:

  • Eating fruits and vegetables of different colors gives your body a wide range of valuable nutrients.
  • Include foods that contain fiber such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and whole-grains.
  • Eat lean cuts of meat and poultry. Trim away excess fat and remove skin from poultry before cooking.
  • Pay attention to portion sizes, especially at restaurants. Smaller portions equal fewer calories.
  • Season your food with lemon juice, herbs, and spices, rather than using butter and salt.
  • Choose foods that are baked, broiled, braised, grilled, steamed, sautéed, or boiled, rather than fried.
  • When eating out, select a dish from the menu, rather than getting your money’s worth at the all-you-can-eat buffet.

Quick Tip

Getting enough fluids each day is important. Did you know that beverages aren’t the only way to get valuable fluids? Fruits and vegetables help, too!

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