The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are designed to help you eat healthier. They outline how you can improve your overall eating patterns — the complete combination of food and drink in your diet. The information from the federal government is evidence-based and can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and obesity.
Nutritionists gather in Washington, D.C., every five years to update the dietary guidelines. The last time they were updated was in 2015, but they’ll be refreshed again next year. In fact, the process is already underway and we’re hearing the new guide will include proper diets for babies 2 years old and younger in an effort to address growing dietary mistakes for young children.
Let’s review what a healthy diet should look like so you can make sure you are following healthy eating patterns. Here’s a breakdown of the 2015-2020 dietary guidelines for Americans.
One of the first things the Dietary Guidelines for Americans point out is a pattern of eating that supports a healthy diet. You should consume a healthy eating pattern that accounts for all foods and beverages within an appropriate calorie level.
A vegetarian diet usually consists of whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and it does not contain any meat. It is considered a healthy diet, because it has been proven to be effective in improving overall health and preventing a number of diseases.
A healthy diet limits:
If you drink alcohol, 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.
There are some simple changes you can make to your current food and beverage choices that will help you eat healthier right away.
The dietary guidelines advisory committee is already working on the next round of recommendations. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines development will be out in the spring.
For more information on dietary guidelines, see www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines.
You can also get additional tips for eating healthy in our guide: “Eating Healthier on a Busy Schedule.”