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Healthy Eating

The latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend four guidelines for healthy eating. Eating well and healthy is easy

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are published every five years. On December 29, 2020, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2020-2025), which provide advice on “what to eat and drink to meet nutritional needs, promote health, and reduce the risk of chronic disease.”

What we eat every day has a profound impact on our health. Following a healthy dietary pattern not only keeps us healthy by meeting our nutrient requirements, but also reduces the risk of chronic nutrition-related diseases such as overweight/obesity, heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, liver disease, cancer, dental caries, metabolic syndrome and so on.

The newly released Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2020-2025) set forth four healthy dietary guidelines for all types of people, including healthy people of all ages and those at risk of disease. These guidelines include encouraging residents to make reasonable food and beverage choices and maintain a healthy diet throughout their lives.

The four core guidelines of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2020-2025) recommend:

1. Follow a healthy dietary pattern at every stage of life.

At every stage of the life cycle (infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, pregnancy, lactation and old age), everyone should strive to adopt healthy dietary patterns to improve their physical health. Early life can also affect food choices and health outcomes in adulthood, and following healthy dietary patterns can have lifelong benefits.

0-6 months old.

Breastfeeding is recommended. Continued breastfeeding is recommended up to 1 year of age, with appropriate extension if necessary. If breastfeeding is not possible for the first year of life, use iron-fortified infant formula to feed the infant. Vitamin D supplements should be taken immediately after birth.

6-12 months old.

Increase the intake of nutrient-rich complementary foods. When babies can eat solid foods, there is no need to avoid allergenic foods, and be careful to provide them with foods rich in iron and zinc, especially if they are breastfed.

12 months of age – Adult.

Follow healthy dietary patterns throughout the life cycle to meet nutritional needs, achieve a healthy weight, and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

2. Choose and enjoy foods and beverages with high nutrient density, taking into account personal dietary preferences, cultural traditions and costs.

Healthy dietary patterns can benefit all individuals, regardless of age, race, or current health status. At the same time, healthy eating patterns should be enjoyable and pleasurable, rather than burdensome and stressful. While the United States is culturally diverse and complex, and there is no single recipe that will meet the needs of all its residents, the Guide provides residents with a dietary pattern framework that offers recommendations by food groups and subgroups (rather than specific foods and beverages) and aims to tailor healthy meal patterns to individual needs, preferences, budgets, and cultural traditions. This approach ensures that people are “in control” and enjoy healthy meals by choosing healthy foods, drinks, meals and snacks based on their needs and preferences.

Healthy diet is not a requirement to eat a particular kind of food, but to eat all kinds of food groups, a group of food can be chosen according to personal preferences, financial ability, etc. In the diet, as long as you can do the following three points, you can achieve a balanced nutrition:

Eat more food with high nutritional value and less added oil, salt and sugar.

Get nutrition mainly from food, especially eat more food with high nutritional value and less added oil, salt and sugar.

(To be specific: vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy and protein-rich foods.).

Try to have as many kinds of food as possible.

Try to eat the above 5 foods every day, and try to eat as many different foods as possible within each group.

Watch portion sizes.

The total amount of food should be appropriate, especially unhealthy food, try to choose small portions.

(Get into the habit of looking at the ingredient list. When you buy snacks, look at the nutrition facts and portion sizes on the package.).

Recommendation 3. Special attention should be given to foods and beverages with high nutrient density to meet food group requirements and appropriate energy limits.

The first thing to ensure is that nutritional requirements are met through food intake, especially high nutrient density foods and beverages. High nutrient density foods provide vitamins, minerals, and other health-promoting ingredients with little or no added sugars, saturated fatty acids, and sodium. A healthy dietary pattern consists of high nutrient density foods and beverages from each food group to meet nutrient reference intakes while ensuring appropriate total energy intake.

Core elements of a healthy eating pattern include:


Various types of vegetables (including dark green, red, and orange vegetables), legumes including soybeans and beans, starchy vegetables, and other vegetables.

(If fresh vegetables are not available, frozen or canned vegetables are good options.).


Especially whole fruit.

(No added dried fruit, 100 percent fruit juice can also be used to meet your daily fruit needs, but be careful to cut down as opposed to eating fruit.).


At least half of them are whole grains.

(Grains that are processed with only the outer crust removed are called whole grains. For example, rice with only the husk removed is called brown rice, and wheat with only the husk removed is called whole wheat.

Dairy products.

Skim or low-fat milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or lactose free versions of fortified soy drinks as alternatives.

Foods rich in protein.

Lean meat, poultry and eggs, seafood, legumes (soybeans and beans), nuts, seeds, and soy products.

oil Oils found in vegetable oils and foods such as seafood and nuts.

Four, reduce added sugar, saturated fatty acids and sodium high content of food and drink, limit alcohol drinks.

Added sugar.

Less than 10% of the total energy. Children under 2 years old avoid added sugars.

(Adults should have less than 50g of added sugar per day, and preferably no more than 25g. Limit sugar in beverages and sweets, including syrups and honey.).

Saturated fatty acid.

People 2 years and older should get less than 10 percent of their daily energy from saturated fat.

(Adults should aim for less than 20 grams of saturated fat a day. Lean meats, eggs, milk, and nuts naturally contain some saturated fat, which may account for about 10g, leaving only a small quota for fatty meats, cream, butter, and pastries.

sodium Use chronic disease risk reduction intakes, not exceeding 1200 mg/day for children 1 to 3 years old; Children aged 4-8 should not consume more than 1500 mg/day; Not more than 1800 mg/day for children aged 9-13 years; Other age groups do not consume more than 2300 mg/day.

(2300mg of sodium translates to about 6 grams of salt, which the World Health Organization has reduced to no more than 5 grams of salt a day.).

Alcoholic beverage It is recommended that adults age 21 and older limit alcohol consumption to two or fewer drinks per day for men and one or fewer drinks per day for women (one alcoholic beverage equivalent is defined as containing 14 grams of alcohol); Avoid binge drinking (five or more drinks for men and four or more drinks for women within two hours); For non-drinkers, it is not recommended to start drinking; People who are pregnant or may become pregnant and those under the legal drinking age should not drink alcohol.

You’d better not. If you can’t quit, no more than 28g of pure alcohol for men and 14g for women).

Bonus: 15% unhealthy daily quota.

We all know that grilling, frying, and creamy desserts are bad foods, but we just want them.

The new guidelines suggest that as long as 85 per cent of your daily energy comes from healthy food, the remaining 15 per cent of your energy quota can be used to eat what you want.Isn’t this a surprise? With an energy quota of 15%, an adult who has a balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, milk, and good protein can eat around 250-300kcal of less healthy food a day. Do you feel more able to stick to a healthy diet without feeling so guilty about occasionally going for a couple of kebabs, a cup of milk tea and an ice cream?

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