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Healthy Eating = Healthy You
Information provided by the American Dietetic Association: Your Link to Nutrition & Health

May is National Family Month, a perfect time to take a closer look at your family's nutrition plan and make any needed changes to your eating habits.

Healthful eating: It's one of your best personal investments! The Dietary Guidelines for Americans sum up the basics about eating and being active for health. By following the guidelines, you may reduce risk factors that lead to chronic disease.

These guidelines, developed by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services, are updated by law every five years to offer the most current, science-based advice from the consensus of nutrition experts.

What does this mean to you? The advice of the Dietary Guidelines is summed up with the ABCs for good health:

  • Aim for fitness with a healthy body weight and active living

  • Build a healthy base with a variety of nutritious, health-promoting foods, kept safe to eat

  • Choose sensibly without overdoing on fat, especially saturated fat; sugars; salt; and, for adults who choose to drink them, alcoholic beverages.

Luckily, there is an easy-to-use planning guide and graphic to help you get the nutrients you need from food each day. The Food Guide Pyramid is a good guide for what - and how much - to eat each day.

  • The Food Guide Pyramid recommends a range of foods and serving sizes.

  • Bread, cereal, rice and pasta group: 6-11 servings

  • Vegetable group: 3-5 servings

  • Fruit group: 2-4 servings

  • Milk, yogurt and cheese group: 2-3 servings

  • Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs and nuts group: 2-3 servings

  • Fats, oils and sweets: use sparingly.

A revised set of Dietary Guidelines for Americans will be released in 2005 along with a new food guidance graphic.

For more information on developing a healthy eating plan for yourself and your family, contact a dietetics professional or visit


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