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The Guidelines for Healthy Eating

Follow a healthy eating pattern across your lifespan. All food and beverage choices matter. Select a healthy eating plan at a reasonable calorie level to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight and BMI, get nutrient adequacy and reduce risks of chronic diseases. A healthy eating pattern should account for all food and drinks you consume daily.

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A healthy eating pattern includes the following food groups:

A variety of vegetables from all of the subgroups — dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and other

• Fruits, especially whole fruits

• Grains, at least half of which are whole grains

• Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages

• A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts, seeds, and soy products

• Oils A healthy eating pattern limits:

• Saturated fats and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium

Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake. Consume an eating pattern low in added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium. Cut back on foods and beverages higher in these components to amounts that fit within healthy eating patterns.

• Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from added sugars

• Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from saturated fats

• Consume less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day of sodium

• If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation—up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age.

Shift to healthier food and beverage choices. Go-Here to Search Health and Wellness Online Resources about Health Related Subjects of Interest Choose nutrient-dense foods and beverages across and within all food groups in place of less healthy choices. Consider cultural and personal preferences to make these shifts easier to accomplish and maintain.

Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount. To meet nutrient needs within calorie limits, choose a variety of nutrient dense foods across and within all food groups in recommended amounts.

Americans of all ages — children, adolescents, adults, and older adults — should meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans to help promote health and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

Support healthy eating patterns for all. Everyone has a role in helping to create and support healthy eating patterns in multiple settings nationwide, from home to school to work to communities. Americans should aim to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. The relationship between diet and physical activity contributes to calorie balance and managing body weight.



The Importance of Physical Activity in a Healthy Lifestyle

6 to 17 Years - Children and adolescents should do 60 minutes or more of physical activity daily.

• Aerobic: Most of the 60 or more minutes a day should be either moderate - or vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, and should include vigorous-intensity physical activity at least 3 days a week.

• Muscle-strengthening: As part of their 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include muscle-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days of the week.

• Bone-strengthening: As part of their 60 or more minutes of daily physical activity, children and adolescents should include bone-strengthening physical activity on at least 3 days of the week.

• It is important to encourage young people to participate in physical activities that are appropriate for their age, that are enjoyable, and that offer variety.

18 to 64 Years - All adults should avoid inactivity. Some physical activity is better than none, and adults who participate in any amount of physical activity gain some health benefits.

• For substantial health benefits, adults should do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity. Aerobic activity should be performed in episodes of at least 10 minutes, and preferably, it should be spread throughout the week.

• For additional and more extensive health benefits, adults should increase their aerobic physical activity to 5 hours a week of moderate-intensity, or 150 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity. Additional health benefits are gained by engaging in physical activity beyond this amount.

• Adults should also include muscle-strengthening activities that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week.

65 Years & Older - Older adults should follow the adult guidelines. When older adults cannot meet the adult guidelines, they should be as physically active as their abilities and conditions will allow.

• Older adults should do exercises that maintain or improve balance if they are at risk of falling.

• Older adults should determine their level of effort for physical activity relative to their level of fitness.

• Older adults with chronic conditions should understand whether and how their conditions affect their ability to do regular physical activity safely.


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