Nutrition is a hot topic everywhere, with differing opinions and approaches all around us. For honest, straightforward advice, there’s still nothing that beats the current USDA guidelines. They’re something everyone should know!
USDA Key Recommendations for the General Population
ADEQUATE NUTRIENTS WITHIN CALORIE NEEDS
• Consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods and beverages within and among the basic food groups while choosing foods that limit the intake of saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, salt, and alcohol. • Meet recommended intakes within energy needs by adopting a balanced eating pattern, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Guide or the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Eating Plan.
WEIGHT MANAGEMENT • To maintain body weight in a healthy range, balance calories from foods and beverages with calories expended. • To prevent gradual weight gain over time, make small decreases in food and beverage calories and increase physical activity.
• Engage in regular physical activity and reduce sedentary activities to promote health, psychological well-being, and a healthy body weight. • To reduce the risk of chronic disease in adulthood: Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, above usual activity, at work or home on most days of the week. • For most people, greater health benefits can be obtained by engaging in physical activity of more vigorous intensity or longer duration. • To help manage body weight and prevent gradual, unhealthy body weight gain in adulthood: Engage in approximately 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity on most days of the week while not exceeding caloric intake requirements. • To sustain weight loss in adulthood: Participate in at least 60 to 90 minutes of daily moderate-intensity physical activity while not exceeding caloric intake requirements. Some people may need to consult with a healthcare provider before participating in this level of activity. • Achieve physical fitness by including cardiovascular conditioning, stretching exercises for flexibility, and resistance exercises or calisthenics for muscle strength and endurance.
• To avoid microbial foodborne illness: • Clean hands, food contact surfaces, and fruits and vegetables. Meat and poultry should not be washed or rinsed. • Separate raw, cooked, and ready-to-eat foods while shopping, preparing, or storing foods. • Cook foods to a safe temperature to kill microorganisms. • Chill (refrigerate) perishable food promptly and defrost foods properly. • Avoid raw (unpasteurized) milk or any products made from unpasteurized milk, raw or partially cooked eggs or foods containing raw eggs, raw or undercooked meat and poultry, unpasteurized juices, and raw sprouts.