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Dietary Guidelines for Americans

Recommendations by the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion at the U.S. Department of Agriculture for planning and eating a healthy diet. The Guidelines are revised every five years. Website: SEE: table; Food Guide Pyramid.

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The DASH Diet (Eating Plan)
Food Group Daily Servings Serving Sizes Examples and Notes Significance of Each Food Group to the DASH Eating Plan
Grains and grain products 7–8 1 slice bread; 1 oz dry cereal; 1/2 C cooked rice, pasta, or cereal Whole wheat bread, English muffin, pita bread, bagel, cereals, grits, oatmeal, crackers, unsalted pretzels and popcorn Major sources of energy and fiber
Vegetables 4–5 1 C raw leafy vegetable, 1/2 C cooked vegetable; 6 oz vegetable juice Tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, green peas, squash, broccoli, turnip greens, collards, kale, spinach, artichokes, green beans, lima beans, sweet potatoes Rich sources of potassium, magnesium, and fiber
Fruits 4–5 6 oz fruit juice; 1 medium fruit; 1/4 C dried fruit; 1/2 C fresh, frozen, or canned fruit Apricots, bananas, dates, grapes, oranges, orange juice, grapefruit, grapefruit juice, mangoes, melons, peaches, pineapples, prunes, raisins, strawberries, tangerines Important sources of potassium, magnesium, and fiber
Lowfat or fatfree dairy foods 2–3 8 oz milk, 1 C yogurt, 1.5 oz cheese Skim (fat-free) or 1% (low fat) milk, skim or low fat buttermilk, fat-free or low fat regular or frozen yogurt, low fat and fat-free cheese Major sources of calcium and protein
Meats, poultry, and fish 2 or less 3 oz cooked meats, poultry, or fish Select only lean; trim away visible fats; broil, roast, or boil, instead of frying; remove skin from poultry Rich sources of protein and magnesium
Nuts, seeds, and dry beans 4–5/week 1.5 oz or 1/3 C nuts, 1/2 oz or 2 tbsp seeds, 1/2 C dry beans Almonds, filberts, mixed nuts, peanuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, kidney beans, lentils Rich sources of energy, magnesium, potassium, protein, and fiber
Fats and oils 2–3 1 tsp soft margarine, 1 tbsp low-fat mayonnaise, 1 tbsp regular salad dressing, 2 tbsp light salad dressing, 1 tsp vegetable oil Soft margarine, low-fat mayonnaise, light salad dressing, vegetable oil DASH has 27% of calories as fat, including fat in or added to foods
Sweets 5/week 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp jelly or jam, 1/2 oz jelly beans, 8 oz lemonade Maple syrup, sugar, jelly, jam, fruit-flavored gelatin, jelly beans, hard candy, fruit punch, sorbet, ices Sweets should be low in fat

SOURCE: National Institutes of Health. September 1998; revised May 2003. Facts about the DASH Eating Plan.

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Dietary Guidelines for Americans


Aim for a healthy weight.

Be physically active each day.


Let updated Dietary Guidelines help you make healthy food choices.

Choose a variety of grains daily, especially whole grains.

Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables ...

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