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Dietary Guidelines

You’ve probably heard the saying, “You are what you eat.” It’s true. The foods and beverages we consume not only help to fuel our bodies, but they also give us the nutrients we need to function.

How we eat over time can also affect our overall health and body weight. In fact, lifestyle habits that you can change—for example eating certain foods or not exercising—increase your chance of developing heart disease. But how do you know what to eat and what to avoid?

There are many steps you can take to educate yourself. To start, learn how to read food labels, control portion sizes, or even talk to a dietitian or nutritionist. You can also refer to the federal government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which offers information about how to make healthy choices to help prevent chronic disease and enjoy a healthy diet.

Every five years, the Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services together issue new recommendations to keep pace with the latest nutrition research. These guidelines aim to offer the best, most up-to-date advice based on the science at hand and sometimes respond to trends.

  • Last Edited 03/31/2019