Nutrition Guidelines

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 were released on January 31, 2011. The guidelines can be boiled down into three key recommendations most important to nutritional health.

Eat a little less. Consume smaller portions, especially of high-calorie foods; choose lower-calorie options, especially when eating foods away from home.  Pay attention to energy balance and focus on reducing overall calorie intake while increasing physical activity.  Individuals at different stages of life – pregnant women, children adolescents, adults, and older adults – have different energy needs.  It is important to understand how to meet your nutrient needs within an appropriate calorie intake.

Eat more plant based foods. For all meals, shift your eating toward more plant-based foods, especially vegetables, cooked dry beans and peas, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds.  Eat more seafood and fat-free and low-fat milk and milk products, and consume only moderate amounts of lean meats, poultry, and eggs.  This approach will help you meet your nutrient needs while maintaining energy balance.

Reduce solid fats, added sugar, refined grains and sodium. Dramatically reduce your intake of added sugars and unhealthy fats (SoFAS).  In addition, reduce sodium intake and lower your intake of refined grains, especially those that are coupled with added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium.   Foods containing added sugars and unhealthy fats contribute excess calories to your diet and few, if any, nutrients.

The good news is that you can reach these goals with a range of dietary patterns that embrace cultural heritage, lifestyle, and food preferences.  Try to adhere to these goals in choosing all of the foods and beverages you consume in a day.

Additional information:

Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010

Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010