Nutrition 3 - The ABC's of Nutrition

Three nutrition guides

How do you know you're getting the nutrients you need? The U.S. government has developed three nutrition tools to help Americans make wise food choices. They are the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, Choosemyplate.org, and the Nutrition Facts panel.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans are recommendations about food choices for all healthy Americans age two and over. The booklet has three sections, labeled A, B, and C.

(A) AIM FOR FITNESS

Fitness involves both healthful eating and regular physical activity. Follow these guidelines to keep healthy and fit

- Aim for a healthy weight. Maintaining your weight helps you look and feel good. It also lowers your risk of heart disease, some cancers, and diabetes. Check with your health provider to determine if you are at a healthy weight for your height and age.

- Be physically active each day. Keep moving! Try to include 60 minutes of moderate activity each day.

(B) BUILD A HEALTHY BASE

Build a healthy base refers to the base of Choose My Plate, which you'll learn more about later in the lesson. You'll learn that the foods located on the plate, grains, fruits, and vegetables - form the foundation of a healthful eating plan. Follow these guidelines to build a healthy base.

- Let the plate guide your food choices. Eat the recommended number of servings from the five food groups.

- Choose a variety of grains daily, especially whole grains. You need the largest number of daily servings from the grains group. Whole-grain foods include whole-wheat bread, brown rice, and oatmeal.

- Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables daily. Eat all kinds and colors of fruits and vegetables to get the full range of vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber.

- Keep food safe to eat. Making sure that foods are safe from harmful bacteria and other contaminants will reduce the risk of foodborne illness (sickness that results from eating food that is not safe to eat). To prevent, cook food thoroughly, refrigerate perishable food, and wash properly.

CHOOSE SENSIBLY

- Sensible choices include foods that are low in fats, sugar, and salt.

- Choose foods that are low in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol and moderate in total fat.

- Choose beverages and foods to moderate your intake of sugar.

- Choose and prepare foods with less salt.