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Latest Dietary Guide For Americans (2005) For Up-to-Date Optimum Nutrition and Weight Control

Dietary Guidelines 2005

Diet Information

Diet Guidelines for Americans

Published every five years, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans answers three basic questions: What should you eat, how should you prepare food to keep it safe and nutritious, and what sort of exercise is best for good health. From a diet viewpoint, the focus is on promoting good eating habits and how healthy diets can reduce the risk of obesity and other major chronic diseases which are weight and/or diet-related.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2005)

The 2005 edition of the Guidelines was released in January 2005. The diet and nutrition advice it contains is the result of a three-stage process. First, a 13-member Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (whose members have specialized knowledge in areas such as overweight and obesity, physical activity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, pediatrics, epidemiology, general medicine, nutrition and food safety) draws up a scientific dietary report. Next, this diet report is reviewed by government and, after public consultation, forms the basis for the new dietary guidelines. Lastly, these diet guidelines are redrafted for the public as well as nutritional and health educators.

Key Recommendations

Here is a short summary of the most important diet recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines.

  • Obtain Adequate Nutrition Without Overeating.
  • Eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods and drinks among the basic food groups. Take care to choose foods that restrict your intake of saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, salt, and alcohol.
  • Adopt 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.

The Most Important Food Groups

  • Eat an adequate amount of fruits and vegetables while remaining within the calorie level for a healthy weight.
  • On a 2000-calorie diet, eat 2 cups of fruit and 2 and a half cups of vegetables per day. Eat more or less according to your calorie intake.
  • Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables each day. In particular, choose from all five vegetable sub-groups (dark green, orange, legumes, starchy vegetables, and other vegetables) several times a week.
  • Eat 3 or more ounce-equivalents of whole-grain products per day, with the rest of the recommended grains coming from enriched or whole-grain products. In general, at least half the grains should come from whole grains.
  • Consume 3 cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent milk products.

Dietary Fats

  • Eat less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fats and less than 300 mg/day of cholesterol, and eat as few trans-fats (hydrogenated fat) as possible.
  • Keep total fat intake between 20-35 percent of calories, with most fat coming from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, such as oily fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.
  • When choosing and cooking meat, poultry, dry beans, and milk or milk products, choose lean, low-fat, or fat-free options.


  • Eat fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains often.
  • Choose and prepare foods and beverages with little added sugars or caloric sweeteners. Be guided by recommendations in the USDA Food Guide and the DASH Eating Plan.

Dietary Protein

Eat lean protein. Choose lean meats and poultry. Bake it, broil it, or grill it. Vary your protein food choices, with more fish, beans, peas, nuts and seeds.

Sodium and Potassium

  • Eat less than 2,300 mg (approximately 1 teaspoon of salt) of sodium per day.
  • Choose low-sodium foods, and do not add salt when cooking. Also, eat potassium-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables.

See also:
Diet and Weight Management
Health and Diet Guidelines
Healthy Diet Explained
Healthy Eating
Healthy Diet Plan

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