In the world of health care nutrition, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans set the standard for what we recommend as far as nutrients and physical activity. In our personal and family lives, the contents of the Dietary Guidelines become a call to action meant to empower and encourage us to continue taking steps in the right direction toward maintaining healthy lifestyles.
What are the Dietary Guidelines?
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are the government’s evidence-based recommendations to promote health, prevent chronic disease and reduce the growing rates of overweight and obese Americans. An updated document is released every five years, taking into account recent research and health trends. The most recent update was just released this past January.
What do the Dietary Guidelines have to offer me?
With each new release of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the writers focus on the latest health disparities within our country and seek to offer tips on how to refocus our nutritional efforts. Physical activity, portion control and fat make frequent appearances as headliners. This year’s update also gave us some new, simple and tangible recommendations to consider.
What are some of the most important takeaways from the Dietary Guidelines?
Balance your calories
- Enjoy your food, but watch your portions.
- Avoid oversized portions.
Foods to increase
- Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
- Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1 percent) milk.
Foods to reduce
- Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread and frozen meals. Choose foods with lower numbers.
- Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
The full document is far more extensive than the recap above. It includes applicable research and updated recommendations. Read the Dietary Guidelines in full.