Eating Well

Eating a healthy, balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight is an important part of maintaining good health, and can also help you feel your best! The Dietary Guidelines for Americans (Dietary Guidelines) are published jointly by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) every five years.

2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines

Consume a healthy eating pattern that accounts for all foods and beverages within an appropriate calorie level.

  1. Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan
  2. Focus on a variety, nutrient density, and amount
  3. Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake
  4. Shift to healthier food and beverage choices
  5. Support healthy eating patterns for all

A healthy eating pattern includes

  • A variety of vegetables from all of the subgroups—dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and other
  • Fruits, especially whole fruits
  • Grains, at least half of which are whole grains
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages
  • A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts, seeds, and soy products
  • Oils

A healthy eating pattern limits

  • Saturated fats
  • Trans fats
  • Added sugars
  • Sodium
Complete Dietary Guidelines

MyPlate Messages

Everything you eat and drink over time matters. The right mix can help you be healthier now and in the future. Start with small changes to make healthier choices you can enjoy.

Find your healthy eating style and maintain it for a lifetime. This means:

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
    • Focus on whole fruits
    • Vary your veggies (dark leafy greens, red and orange, etc)
  • Make half your grains whole grains
  • Move to low-fat and fat-free milk or yogurt
  • Vary your protein routine
  • Drink and eat less sodium, saturated fat, and added sugars