Are you due for a diet makeover? You would most likely answer yes if your diet is like that of most Americans – full of highly processed foods that fill you up with excess calories and little in the way of vital nutrients. This way of eating has contributed to an unprecedented increase in obesity and chronic diseases in this country. But you don’t have to be a statistic. There are some simple steps that you can take to improve your diet and enjoy better health. One place to start is with a diet makeover, based on the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans
The USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans are designed to improve the nutritional quality of the American diet. The Dietary Guidelines encourage increased intake of foods that are rich in essential nutrients and decreased intake of foods that are high in calories but provide little or no meaningful nutritional value.
Below are the basic recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Give yourself a diet makeover by following these 8 simple steps:
1. Eat more nutrient-dense foods and less highly processed or refined foods
2. Choose foods from among the basic food groups based on the Food Guide Pyramid (MyPyramid)
3. Avoid foods that are high in saturated fats
4. Avoid trans fats
5. Limit your intake of foods are high in cholesterol
6. Avoid foods prepared with added sugar
7. Limit your intake of foods that are high in salt
8. Limit your intake of alcoholic beverages
Please note: The information provided on this site is for education and general information purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. Please see your appropriate medical authority for personalized medical attention.
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About Dr. Dorene E. Carter
Dr. Dorene E. Carter is a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant with over 25 years of experience in nutrition education, counseling, training, consulting and writing. She is founder and CEO of CHANA Project, the Child Health and Nutrition Access Project, a nonprofit organization serving children and families. Dr. Carter received her PhD in Nutrition from the University of California, Berkeley.