Aim for a healthy weight and be physically active every day
A healthy weight is key to a long, healthy life. Over time, even a small decrease in calories eaten and a small increase in physical activity can keep you from gaining weight or help you lose weight. Engage in 30 minutes or more of moderate physical activity most days of the week. Make physical activity a regular part of your routine. Moderate physical activity is any activity that requires about as much energy as walking 2 miles in 30 minutes.
Build a healthy base
Use the Food Guide Pyramid to guide you so that you get the
vitamins, minerals, energy, and other healthful substances
from foods your body needs each day. Make grains, especially
whole grains, fruits, and vegetables the foundation of your
meals. This forms a base for good nutrition and health.
- There are many healthful eating patterns. Different people
like different foods and like to prepare the same foods
in different ways.
- Since foods within the same food group differ in their
array of nutrients and other healthful substances, choosing
a variety helps you get all the nutrients and fiber you
need. It can also keep your meals interesting from day to
- Also choose some low-fat dairy products and low-fat foods
from the meat and beans group each day. Its fine to
enjoy fats and sweets occasionally.
- Wash hands often; keep raw meats and ready-to-eat foods
separate; cook to proper temperatures; and refrigerate promptly
to below 40º.
Choose a diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol
and moderate in total fat. Choose beverages and foods that
limit your intake of sugars. Choose and prepare foods with
- Choose low-fat dairy products, cooked dried beans and
peas, fish, and lean meats and poultry.
- Use the Nutrition Facts Label to help you choose foods
lower in fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. Read the Label
to compare and help identify foods lower in sodium.
- Take care not to let foods high in sugar crowd out other foods you need to maintain health, such as low-fat milk or other good sources of calcium.
- Choose herbs or spices on foods like grilled or roasted entrees, baked potatoes, and salads to help you limit sodium intake.