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Nutrition Guidelines


A healthy diet is low in saturated fat, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium) and added sugar.

Food choices should include:

Fruits and vegetables

Whole grains

Fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products

Lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts

People who have a chronic health condition should talk to a healthcare provider about a nutrition plan that is right for them.






How Can Fruits Help Me Live Well?

Eating fruit is good for your health! People who eat fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet may reduce their risk for chronic diseases.

The fruit group includes any whole fruit or 100% fruit juice. Fruits may be fresh, frozen, canned or dried. You should fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables at each meal, trying to get five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.


Here are just some of the benefits of eating fruits:

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How Can Vegetables Help Me Live Well?

The vegetable group includes any vegetable or 100% vegetable juice. Vegetables may be raw or cooked, fresh, frozen, canned
or dried/dehydrated.

Vegetables are usually organized into these groups: dark green vegetables, starchy vegetables, red and orange vegetables, beans and peas and other vegetables.

Try to get five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, and fill half your plate with these foods at each meal. People who eat fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce their risk for chronic diseases.


The benefits of eating vegetables include:

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How Can Whole Grains Help Me Live Well?

Eating grains, especially whole grains, provides many nutrients that are vital for our health.

Grains include wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or another cereal grain. Bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, and tortillas are examples of grain products.

Grains are divided in two groups: Whole Grains and Refined Grains.

Most refined grains are enriched, which means certain B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid) and iron are added. Check the ingredient list on refined grains to make sure the word "enriched" is included.

Try to choose whole grains over refined grains. Look for this yellow "100% Whole Grain" stamp on food packages.

The benefits of whole grains include: nutrients like fiber, B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate), and minerals (iron, magnesium and selenium). The B vitamins help with metabolism, where the body releases energy from protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Magnesium helps build bones and releases energy from muscles. Selenium is important for a healthy immune system.

The fiber in whole grains may reduce constipation, reduce blood cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Eating grains fortified with folate before and during pregnancy helps fetal development.


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How Can Dairy Help Me Live Well?

Milk products and many foods made from milk are considered part of the dairy group. Most choices from this group should be fat-free or low-fat.​

The one benefit most of us know about is that the calcium in dairy can help improve bone health and reduce risk of osteoporosis. Here are some other benefits:

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How Can Proteins Help Me Live Well?

The proteins group includes foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas (also called legumes), eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the protein group.

Beans and peas, or legumes, are also part of the vegetable group. Many people eating a vegetarian diet consider legumes as an alternative to meat, as they are sources of plant protein. They are also sources of iron, zinc, dietary fiber, folate and potassium.

Select a variety of lean or low-fat foods from the protein group, including at least 8 ounces of cooked seafood per week. Vegetarian options in the protein proup include beans and peas, processed soy products, and nuts and seeds.

Benefits of foods in the meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, and seeds group:

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