Good nutrition doesn’t have to be a challenge. You can have the healthy body you want by following these basic principles based on USDA Dietary Guidelines and MyPlate.
- Keep good nutrition simple.
- Stay within calorie limits.
- Enjoy foods that are rich in essential nutrients from all five food groups.
- Find your balance between food and physical activity.
MyPlate recommends choosing foods rich in essential nutrients from all food groups.
For a healthier, more active lifestyle, choose nutrient-rich foods first, and then if you have any calories left over from your daily-recommended calories, you might consider small portions of other foods.
Focus on foods from the base of the pyramid from each food group. At the base you’ll find foods that provide more nutrients with fewer calories, less saturated fat and smaller amounts of (or no) added sugar. Eating this way makes every calorie you take in more valuable.
These tips will help you make healthy choices:
- Shop the perimeter of the store for the freshest nutrient-rich foods, including:
- Brightly colored fruits, such as blueberries, strawberries and oranges and vibrant green, red, yellow and orange vegetables like tomatoes, spinach and orange peppers. The more colorful a fresh food is the higher in nutrients and cancer-fighting anti-oxidants. The more colors you eat, the more varied vitamins, minerals and other nutrients your body will benefit.
- Choose whole grain, fortified and fiber-rich bread and whole-grain pasta products (instead of white breads and pastas).
- Enjoy lean proteins such as lean beef, eggs and fish.
- Select lean ground beef that is at least 90 % lean for hamburgers, chili or other dishes that use ground beef.
- Serve whole-grain cereals, such as oatmeal for breakfast.
- Make an easy breakfast or snack from low-fat yogurt and fresh fruit.
- When snacking, choose brightly colored red, green, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables, low-fat yogurt or lean beef jerky.
- Make a healthy sandwich using whole-grain breads and lean protein such as roast beef and top with dark green lettuce and bright red tomatoes.
- Turn a salad into an entrée by including fruits, vegetables and a lean protein, such as grilled steak.
Visit ChooseMyPlate.gov to create personalized eating plans and interactive tools to help you plan and assess your food choices.