click here to print


The Dietary Guidelines for Americans and MyPlate were developed to guide healthy nutrition choices. They are a cornerstone to making balanced nutrition changes as part of a healthy lifestyle. We do not have to drastically diet to lose weight and be healthy. Make small changes and when you succeed in sustaining one change, add another. A difference of just 100 calories per day (eating less or moving more) would be a loss of 10 pounds in one year. Ten pounds may not seem like much, but if we make more small changes it can affect greater weight loss and better health!


So let’s focus on “Eating for the Health of It”!


Build a Healthy Plate:

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables

  • Switch to skim or 1% milk

  • Make at least half your grains “whole grain”

  • Vary your proteins to include meat, fish, poultry, soy, beans and other plant sources


Cut Back on Solid Fats, Added Sugars, and Salt:

  • Drink water or beverages without calories/sugar

  • Eat fruit for dessert in place of high-sugar items

  • Choose 100% fruit juice (4-8 ounces per day max)

  • Buy  “low sodium”, “reduced sodium”, “no salt added”, and items with less than 5% DV on label

  • Rinse canned goods under running water

  • Use olive or canola oil in place of butter/lard

  • Oven bake, grill, or broil instead of frying

  • Replace butter/stick margarine with tub margarine

  • Choose lean cuts of meat (loin and round) and poultry (skinless)

  • Replace regular cheese, milk, and yogurt with low-fat or fat-free/non-fat items

  • Read nutrition facts and ingredients on label


Eat the Right Amount of Food For You:

  • Use Supertracker to find your calorie needs

  • Eat smaller bowls/plates at home

  • Doggie bag half or share a meal when eating out

  • Stop eating when you feel satisfied—not full

  • Model MyPlate with fruit, vegetable, and whole grain sides at home and when eating out

  • Keep a food journal (paper, app, or online)

  • Alcohol in moderation—1 serving for women, 2 servings for men (daily limit)


Be Physically Active Your Way:

  • Start small and build up (days and time)

  • Multiple 10-minute intervals a day add up

  • Recommended: 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity per week (30 minutes/5 days)