22 Mar 2016


New Dietary Guidelines Encourage Small Changes

 A lifetime of healthy eating helps to prevent chronic diseases like obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure, and Type 2 diabetes. The Dietary Guidelines provides a clear path for the general public, as well as policy makers and health professionals and others who reach the public, to help Americans make healthy choices.

Obesity and other chronic diseases come not only with increased health risks, but also at a high cost. Healthy eating is one of the most powerful tools we have to reduce the onset of disease.

The 2015 edition of the Dietary Guidelines focuses on three main takeaways to help Americans make decisions about healthy eating.

Eat for Health and for the Long Run

The path to improving health through nutrition is to follow a healthy eating pattern that is right for you.

A healthy eating pattern:

  • consists of all foods and drinks that a person consumes over time;
  • is adaptable to a person’s taste preferences, culture, traditions, and budget;
  • includes a variety of nutritious foods like vegetables, fruits, grains, low-fat and fat-free dairy, lean meats and other protein foods, and oils; and
  • limits saturated fats, trans fats, added sugars, and sodium.

There is more than one type of healthy eating pattern — the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines includes various examples of healthy eating patterns.


Start with Small Changes

By focusing on small improvements, eating healthy becomes more manageable. With so many choices to make every single day about what to eat and drink, each choice is an opportunity to make a small, healthy change — like replacing refined- flour bread with whole-grain bread.

Almost 9 in 10 Americans get less than the recommended amount of vegetables. Find new ways to incorporate more veggies to dishes you’re already making.  Further, American adults consume about 50 percent more sodium than the Dietary Guidelines recommends. Use the Nutrition Facts label to check for sodium, especially in processed foods like pizza, pasta dishes, sauces and soups.

Support Healthy Choices for Everyone

Many Americans may need to make changes to their food choices and get more physical activity to stay healthy, but they shouldn’t have to do it alone. Everyone has a role to play in encouraging easy, accessible, and affordable ways to support healthy choices at home, school, work, and in the community. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans includes examples of strategies that support healthy choices.









©Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion




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