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Being Healthy Starts by Eating Healthfully: How the Dietary Guidelines for Americans Can Help You Make Every Bite Count

Some big changes have been put forth in the new Dietary Guidelines to shift the focus to health across the lifespan from infancy to older adulthood. Every five years, new guidelines are released.

Two major changes are as follows:

  • Guidelines and specific needs of infants and toddlers ages 0 to 24 months
  • Dietary guidance for women who are pregnant and/or breastfeeding

The just-released Dietary Guidelines serve to encourage healthful dietary patterns at every stage of life. The guidelines provide recommendations for healthful dietary patterns by life stage, identifying needs specific to each life stage and healthful dietary pattern characteristics that should be carried forward into the next stage of life.

Remember that the foods and beverages that you consume have a profound impact on your overall health. Currently, 63% of Americans exceed the limit for added sugars, 77% exceed the limit for saturated fat and 75% of Americans have dietary patterns low in vegetables, fruit and dairy. The overconsumption of sugar and fat, as well as the low intake of fruits and vegetables, has caused the American people’s health to suffer.

Keep in mind that it is never too early or too late to improve your food and beverage choices and to establish a healthy dietary pattern. Each step you take toward eating healthfully can improve your overall health in many ways, including lowering your risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, cancer and obesity.

See www.dietaryguidelines.gov/ for details.

 

Alexandra Jones, NDSU Extension Dietetic Intern
Reviewed by Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist

 

Filed under: fca newsletter

Sponsored in part by the Sanford Health Foundation.

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