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Nutrition and Your Health, Dietary Guidelines for Americans
2000
--
Home and Garden Bulletin 232, USDA,
2000, Fifth Edition

Archive copy of publication, do not use for current recommendations.

The PDF file was provided courtesy of the National Agricultural Library.

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Nutrition and Your Health:
DIETARY GUIDELINES FOR AMERICANS
"D
en
BUILD
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CHOOSE
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DIETARY GUIDELINES FOR AMERICANS
~
-
AIM FOR FITNESS...
A
Aim for a healthy weight.
A
Be physically active each day.
BUILD A HEALTHY BASE...

Let the Pyramid guide your food
choices.

Choose a variety of grains daily,
especially whole grains.

Choose a variety of fruits and
vegetables daily.

Keep food safe to eat.
CHOOSE SENSIBLY...
Choose a diet that is low in saturated
fat and cholesterol and moderate in
total fat.
Choose beverages and foods to
moderate your intake of sugars.

Choose and prepare foods with
less salt.
If you drink alcoholic beverages,
do so in moderation.
or aoo

Contents
Aim... Build... Choose... for Good Health
page 2
Aim for Fitness
Aim for a healthy weight page 6
Be physically active each day page 10
Choose Sensibly
Choose a diet that is low in
saturated fat
and
cholesterol and moderate in total fat page 28
Choose beverages and
foods to
moderate your intake of sugars page 32
Choose and prepare foods with less salt page 34
If you drink alcoholic beverages,
do so
in moderation page 36
Acknowledgments page 38
For Additional Information on Nutrition page 39
D i e t a r y G u i d e l i n e s
f o r A m e r i c a n s , 2 0 0 0
Build a Healthy Base
1
Let the Pyramid guide your food choices page 14
Choose a variety of grains daily, especially whole grains page 20
Choose a variety of
fruits
and vegetables daily page 22
Keep food safe to eat page 24

Aim... Build... Choose...
/ JL
///
.. .for qooa health
l
(/

J
E
ating is one of life's greatest pleasures. Since there
are many foods and many ways to build a healthy
diet and lifestyle, there is lots of room for choice. Use
this booklet to help you and your family find ways to
enjoy food while taking action for good health.
This booklet carries three basic messages — the ABC's
for your health and that of your family:
Aim for fitness.
Build a healthy base.
Choose sensibly.
Ten guidelines point the way to good health. These
guidelines are intended
for healthy children (ages 2
years and older) and adults of any age.
Aim for fitness
A. Aim for a healthy weight.
A. Be physically active each day.
Following
these
two guidelines will help keep you and
your
family
healthy and fit. Healthy eating and regular
physical activity enable people
of all ages to work
productively, enjoy life, and feel their best. They also
help children grow, develop, and do well in school.
Build a healthy base
• Let the Pyramid guide your food choices.
H Choose a variety of grains daily, especially
whole grains.
H Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables daily.
H Keep food safe to eat.
Following these four guidelines builds a base for
healthy eating. Let the Food Guide Pyramid guide you
so that you get the nutrients your body needs each day.
Make grains, fruits, and vegetables the foundation of
your meals. This forms a base for good nutrition and
good health and may reduce your risk of certain
chronic diseases. Be flexible and adventurous—try new
choices from these three groups in place of some less
nutritious or higher calorie foods you usually eat.
Whatever you eat, always take steps to keep your food
safe to eat.
Choose sensibly
Choose a diet that is low in saturated fat and
cholesterol and moderate in total fat.
Choose beverages and foods to moderate your
intake of sugars.
Choose and prepare foods with less salt.
If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in
moderation.
D i e t a r y G u i d e l i n e s f o r A m e r i c a n s , 2 0 0 0

These four guidelines help you make sensible choices
that promote health and reduce the risk of certain
chronic diseases. You can enjoy all foods as part of a
healthy diet as long as you don't overdo it on fat
(especially saturated fat), sugars, salt, and alcohol. Read
labels to identify foods that are higher in saturated fats,
sugars, and salt (sodium).
Aim, Build, Choose—for Good Health
By following all of the guidelines in this booklet, you
can promote your health and reduce your risk for
chronic diseases such as heart disease, certain types of
cancer, diabetes, stroke, and osteoporosis. These
diseases are leading causes of death and disability
among Americans. Good diets can also reduce major
risk factors for chronic disease—such as obesity, high
blood pressure, and high blood cholesterol. Your food
choices, your lifestyle, your environment, and your
family history all affect your well-being. It is important
for everyone to follow the 10 Dietary Guidelines in this
booklet. If you are at higher risk for a chronic disease, it
is especially important. So find out your family history
of disease and your other risk factors for disease (see
box 2) to make more informed decisions about how to
improve your health.
Together, the 10 guidelines in this booklet will help you
build healthful eating patterns and take action for good
health. This booklet tells you the reason each guideline
is important and gives tips for following the guidelines.
Use this booklet to find out some of the many ways to
aim for fitness, to build a healthy base, and to choose
sensibly.
BUILD
CHOOSE
For sale by the U.S. Governmenl Priming Office
Superinlendenl of Documents, Mail Slop: SSOP, Washington, DC 20402-9328
ISBN 0-16-050376-0
D i e t a r y G u i d e l i n e s f o r A m e r i c a n s , 2 0 0 0

Aim for a healthy weight
Be physically active each
day

Aim for a healthy weight
A
J
J
C
hoose a lifestyle
that combines
sensible eating with
regular
physical activity.
To be at their best, adults
need
to
avoid
gaining weight,
and
many
need to lose
weight.
Being
overweight or
obese increases
your
risk
for
high
blood pressure, high blood cholesterol, heart
disease,
stroke, diabetes, certain
types of cancer,
arthritis,
and breathing problems.
A
healthy
weight
is
key to a long,
healthy life.
Evaluate your body weight
For adults
and children, different
methods are
used
to
find
out
if
weight
is about
right for height. If you have
concerns about your child's body size, talk with your
health care
provider.
Also
see
the section Encourage
healthy weight in
children on
page 9.
If you
are an adult,
follow
the
directions in box 1 to
evaluate your weight in
relation to your height, or
Body
Mass Index (BMI).
Not all adults
who have a BMI in the
range
labeled
"healthy" are at
their most healthy
weight. For example,
some may
have lots of fat and
little
muscle. A BMI
above the
healthy range is less
healthy for
most
people;
but
it may be
fine if
you have
lots of
muscle and
little
fat. The
further your BMI is
above the
healthy range, the
higher your weight-related
risk
(see
figure 1). If your
BMI
is above the healthy
range, you may benefit
from
weight loss, especially if
you have other
health risk factors
(see box 2).
BMI's
slightly below the healthy range
may still be
healthy
unless they result from
illness. If
your
BMI is
below the healthy
range,
you may have increased risk of
menstrual
irregularity,
infertility, and osteoporosis. If
you lose
weight suddenly
or for unknown reasons,
see a
health
care provider.
Unexplained
weight
loss may be
an
early
clue
to a health problem.
Keep track of your weight and your waist
measurement, and take action if either of them
increases. If your BMI is greater than 25, or even if it
is in the "healthy" range, at least try to avoid further
weight gain. If your waist measurement increases, you
are probably gaining fat. If so, take steps to eat fewer
calories and become more active.
HOW TO EVALUATE YOUR
WEIGHT (ADULTS)
1. Weigh yourself and have your height measured.
Find your BMI category in figure 1. The higher
your BMI category, the greater the risk for
health problems.
2. Measure around your waist, just above your hip
bones, while standing. Health risks increase as
waist measurement increases, particularly if
waist is greater than 35 inches for women or 40
inches for men. Excess abdominal fat may place
you at greater risk of health problems, even if
your BMI is about right.
3. Use box 2 to find out how many other risk
factors you have.
The higher your BMI and waist measurement, and
the more risk factors you have from box 2, the more
you are likely to benefit from weight loss.
NOTE: Weight loss is usually not advisable for pregnant women.
D i e t a r y G u i d e l i n e s f o r A m e r i c a n s , 2 0 0 0

A i m f o r F i t n e s s
ARE YOU AT A HEALTHY WEIGHT?
Height*
6'6"
. > •
BMI (Body Mass Index)
v,
6'5"
o 4
6
i on
O
6'2"
6'1"
6'0"
5'ii"
5'10"
5'9"
5'8"
5'7"
5'6"
5'5"
5'4"
5'3"
5'2"
5T
5'0"
4'ii"
4'10"
1 1 1 1 1
50 75
100
125
150
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
175 200 225
J
Pounds'"
250 275
Without shoes. ^Without clothes.
BMI measures weight in relation to height. The BMI ranges shown above are for adults. They are not exact
ranges of healthy and unhealthy weights. However, they show that health risk increases at higher levels of
overweight and obesity. Even within the healthy BMI range, weight gains can carry health risks for adults.
Directions: Find your weight on the bottom of the graph. Go straight up from that point until you come
to the line that matches your height. Then look to find your weight group.
Healthy Weight BMI from 18.5 up to 25 refers to healthy weight.
| Overweight BMI from 25 up to 30 refers to overweight.
| Obese BMI 30 or higher refers to obesity. Obese persons are also overweight.
Source: Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2000, page 3.
D i e t a r y G u i d e l i n e s f o r A m e r i c a n s , 2 0 0 0

A i m f o r F i t n e s s
8
A
J
J
FIND OUT YOUR OTHER RISK
FACTORS FOR CHRONIC DISEASE

The more of these risk factors you have, the more
you are likely to benefit from weight loss if you are
overweight or obese.
• Do you have a personal or family history of
heart disease?
• Are you a male older than 45 years or a
postmenopausal female?
• Do you smoke cigarettes?
• Do you have a sedentary lifestyle?
• Has your doctor told you that you have
- high blood pressure?
- abnormal blood lipids (high LDL cholesterol,
low HDL cholesterol, high triglycerides)?
- diabetes?
Manage your weight
Our genes affect our tendency to gain weight. A
tendency to gain
weight is
increased when food
is
plentiful and when we
use
equipment and vehicles to
save time and energy.
However,
it is possible to manage
your weight through balancing the calories you eat
with your physical
activity
choices.
To make it easier to
manage
your weight, make long-
term changes in your eating behavior and physical
activity.
To
do this, build
a
healthy base and make
sensible choices.
Choose a
healthful assortment of
foods that includes
vegetables,
fruits, grains (especially
whole grains), skim milk, and fish, lean meat, poultry,
or beans. Choose foods
that are low
in fat and added
sugars (see pages 28-33) most of the time. Whatever
the food, eat a
sensible
portion
size
(see
box
3).
Try to be more active throughout the day. The physical
activity guideline (see page 10) recommends that all
adults get at least 30 minutes of moderate physical
activity most or preferably all days of the week. To
maintain a healthy weight after weight loss, adults will
likely need to do more than 30 minutes of moderate
physical activity daily. Over time, even a small decrease
in calories eaten and a small increase in physical
activity can keep you from gaining weight or help you
lose weight.
CHOOSE SENSIBLE PORTION SIZES
Control portion size. See guideline "Let the Pyramid
guide your food choices" on pages 14-15 for
sensible sizes and numbers of servings.
• If you're eating out, choose small portion sizes,
share an entree with a friend, or take part of the
food home (if you can chill it right away).
• Check product labels to learn how much food
is considered to be a serving, and how many
calories, grams of fat, and so forth are in the
food. Many items sold as single portions
actually provide 2 servings or more. Examples
include a 20-ounce container of soft drink, a
12-ounce steak, a 3-ounce bag of chips, and
a large bagel.
• Be especially careful to limit portion size of
foods high in calories, such as cookies, cakes,
other sweets, French fries, and fats, oils, and
spreads.
The carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in food supply
energy, which is measured in calories. High-fat foods
contain more calories than the same amount of other
foods, so they can make it difficult for you to avoid
excess calories. However, low fat doesn't always mean
low calorie. Sometimes extra sugars are added to low-
fat muffins or desserts, for example, and they may be
just as high in calories.
D i e t a r y G u i d e l i n e s f o r A m e r i c a n s , 2 0 0 0

A i m f o r F i t n e s s
Your pattern of eating may be important. Snacks and
meals eaten away from home provide a large part of
daily calories for many people. Choose them wisely. Try
fruits, vegetables, whole grain foods, or a cup of low-fat
milk or yogurt for a snack. When eating out, choose
small portions of foods. If you choose fish, poultry, or
lean meat, ask that it be grilled rather than fried.
Like younger adults, overweight and obese older adults
may improve their health by losing weight. The
guidance of a health care provider is recommended,
especially for obese children and older adults. Since
older people tend to lose muscle mass, regular physical
activity is a valuable part of a weight-loss plan. Building
or maintaining muscle helps keep older adults active
and reduces their risk of falls and fractures. Staying
active throughout your adult years helps maintain
muscle mass and bone strength for your later years.
If you need to lose weight, do so
gradually
If you are overweight, loss of 5 to 15 percent of your
body weight may improve your health, ability to
function, and quality of life. Aim to lose about 10
percent of your weight over about 6 months. This
would be 20 pounds of weight loss for someone who
weighs 200 pounds. Loss of 1/2 to 2 pounds per week is
usually safe. Even if you have regained weight in the
past, it's worthwhile to try again.
Encourage healthy weight in children
Children need enough food for proper growth, but too
many calories and too little physical activity lead to
overweight. The number of overweight U.S. children
has risen dramatically in recent years. Encourage
healthy weight by offering children grain products;
vegetables and fruits; low-fat dairy products; and beans,
lean meat, poultry, fish, or nuts—and let them see you
enjoy eating the same foods. Let the child decide how
much of these foods to eat. Offer only small amounts of
food high in fat or added sugars. Encourage children to
take part in vigorous activities (and join them
whenever possible). Limit the time they spend in
sedentary activities like watching television or playing
computer or video games.
Help children to develop healthy eating habits. Make
small changes. For example, serve low-fat milk rather
than whole milk and offer one cookie instead of two.
Since children still need to grow, weight loss is not
recommended unless guided by a health care provider.
Serious eating disorders
Frequent binge eating, with or without periods of food
restriction, may be a sign of a serious eating disorder.
Other signs of eating disorders include preoccupation
with body weight or food (or both—regardless of body
weight), dramatic weight loss, excessive exercise, self-
induced vomiting, and the abuse of laxatives. Seek help
from a health care provider if any of these apply to you,
a family member, or a friend.
A D V I C E F O R T O D A Y
A Aim for a healthy weight. If you are at a healthy
weight, aim to avoid weight gain. If you are already
overweight, first aim to prevent further weight
gain, and then lose weight to improve your health.
A Build a healthy base by eating vegetables, fruits, and
grains (especially whole grains) with little added fat
or sugar.
A Select sensible portion sizes.
A Get moving. Get regular physical activity to balance
calories from the foods you eat.
A Set a good example for children by practicing
healthy eating habits and enjoying regular physical
activities together.
A Keep in mind that even though heredity and the
environment are important influences, your
behaviors help determine your body weight.
D i e t a r y G u i d e l i n e s f o r A m e r i c a n s , 2 0 0 0

Be physically active each day
10
B
eing physically active
and
maintaining a healthy
weight are
both
needed for good health, but they
benefit health
in different
ways. Children, teens,
adults, and
the elderly—all can
improve their health
and
well-being and
have
fun by including moderate
amounts of
physical
activity in their
daily
lives.
Physical
activity involves moving the body. A moderate
physical activity
is
any activity that requires about as
much energy
as walking 2
miles in 30 minutes.
Aim to accumulate
at
least 30 minutes (adults) or 60
minutes (children) of moderate physical activity most
days of the week, preferably daily. If you already get 30
minutes of physical
activity
daily, you can gain even
more health
benefits
by increasing the amount of time
that you are
physically
active or by taking part in more
vigorous activities.
No
matter what activity you choose,
you can do it all
at
once, or spread it out over two or
three times during
the
day.
Make physical activity a regular part of
your routine
Choose activities
that you
enjoy and that you
can do
regularly (see box
4). Some
people prefer activities that
fit
into their daily
routine,
like gardening or taking
extra
trips
up and
down
stairs. Others prefer a regular
exercise program,
such
as a physical activity program
at their worksite.
Some
do both. The important thing is
to be physically
active
every day.
Most adults do
not
need to see their health care
provider
before starting to become more physically
active. However,
if you are planning to start a vigorous
activity plan
and have one or more of the conditions
below,
consult
your
health care provider:
A. Chronic health problem such as heart disease,
hypertension,
diabetes, osteoporosis, or obesity.
A High risk for heart disease (see box 2).
A Over
age 40 for men or 50 for women.
Health benefits of physical activity
Compared with
being very sedentary, being physically
active
for at least
30
minutes on most days of the week
reduces the
risk
of
developing or dying of heart disease.
It
has other health benefits as well (see box 5). No
one
is
too young or too
old to enjoy the benefits
of
regular
physical
activity.
Two types of
physical activity are especially beneficial:
A Aerobic
activities. These are activities that speed
your heart rate and breathing. They help
cardiovascular fitness.
A Activities
for strength and flexibility. Developing
strength may
help build and maintain your bones.
Carrying
groceries and lifting weights are two
strength-building activities. Gentle stretching,
dancing,
or yoga can increase flexibility.
To get these
health benefits, adults need moderate
physical activity
for a total of at least 30 minutes most
days of the week,
preferably daily, and children need at
least
60
minutes per day.
D i e t a r y G u i d e l i n e s f o r A m e r i c a n s , 2 0 0 0

A i m f o r F i t n e s s
EXAMPLES OF PHYSICAL
ACTIVITIES FOR ADULTS
For at least 30 minutes most days of the week,
preferably daily, do any one of the activities listed
below—or combine activities. Look for additional
opportunities among other activities that you enjoy.
As part of your routine activities:
• Walk, wheel, or bike ride more, drive less.
• Walk up stairs instead of taking an elevator.
• Get off the bus a few stops early and walk or
wheel the remaining distance.
• Mow the lawn with a push mower.
• Rake leaves.
• Garden.
• Push a stroller.
• Clean the house.
• Do exercises or pedal a stationary bike while
watching television.
• Play actively with children.
• Take a brisk 10-minute walk or wheel in the
morning, at lunch, and after dinner.
As part of your exercise or recreational routine:
• Walk, wheel, or jog.
• Bicycle or use an arm pedal bicycle.
• Swim or do water aerobics.
• Play racket or wheelchair sports.
• Golf (pull cart or carry clubs).
• Canoe.
• Cross-country ski.
• Play basketball.
• Dance.
• Take part in an exercise program at work,
home, school, or gym.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF REGULAR
PHYSICAL ACTIVITY

• Increases physical fitness
• Helps build and maintain healthy bones,
muscles, and joints
• Builds endurance and muscular strength
• Helps manage weight
• Lowers risk factors for cardiovascular disease,
colon cancer, and type 2 diabetes
• Helps control blood pressure
• Promotes psychological well-being and
self-esteem
• Reduces feelings of depression and anxiety
Physical activity and nutrition
Physical activity and
nutrition
work together for
better
health. For example, physical activity increases
the
amount of calories you use. For those who have
intentionally lost weight, being active makes it
easier
to maintain the weight loss. However, 30
minutes
of
activity daily may
not
be enough to lose weight or
maintain weight loss. Read the preceding
guideline
"Aim for a Healthy Weight," for more information
about weight management.
Physical activity and nutrition work together
in more
ways than weight management. Increasing the
calories
you use allows you to eat more, which makes it
easier
to get the nutrients you need. Physical activity and
nutrition work together for bone
health,
too.
Calcium
and other nutrients are needed to
build
and maintain
strong bones, but physical activity
is
needed as well.
11
J
)
D i e t a r y G u i d e l i n e s f o r A m e r i c a n s , 2 0 0 0

A i m f o r F i t n e s s
12
A
J
J
Help children be physically active
Children and adolescents benefit from physical activity
in many ways. They need at least 60 minutes of physical
activity daily (see box 6). Parents can help:
A Set a good example. For example, arrange active
family events in which everyone takes part. Join
your children in physical activities.
A Encourage your children to be physically active at
home, at school, and with friends by jumping rope,
playing tag, riding a bike.
A Limit television watching, computer games, and
other inactive forms of play by alternating with
periods of physical activity.
PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES FOR
CHILDREN AND TEENS
Aim for at least 60 minutes total per day:
• Be spontaneously active.
• Play tag.
• Jump rope.
• Ride a bicycle or tricycle.
• Walk, wheel, skip, or run.
• Play actively during school recess.
• Roller skate or in-line skate.
• Take part in physical education activity classes
during school.
• Join after-school or community physical activity
programs.
• Dance.
Older people need to be physically
active too

Older persons also need to
be
physically
active. Engage
in
moderate physical activity
for
at
least
30
minutes
most
days of the
week,
preferably daily,
and take
part
in
activities to strengthen muscles and to improve
flexibility.
Staying strong
and
flexible
can
reduce your
risk
of
falling
and
breaking
bones,
preserve
muscle, and
improve your ability to live
independently. Lifting small
weights and carrying groceries are two
ways to include
strength
building
into your
routine.
A D V I C E F O R T O D A Y
A Engage in at least 30
minutes
(adults) or 60
minutes (children)
of moderate
physical activity
most,
preferably all, days of
the week.
A Become
physically active
if you are inactive.
A Maintain or
increase physical
activity if you
are
already
active.
A Stay
active throughout
your life.
A Help children
get at least
60
minutes of
physical
activity daily.
A Choose physical
activities that fit in with
your daily
routine,
or
choose
recreational or structured
exercise programs, or
both.
A Consult your
health
care provider
before starting
a new vigorous physical activity plan
if you
have a
chronic
health
problem, or
if you
are over
40
(men)
or 50
(women).
D i e t a r y G u i d e l i n e s f o r A m e r i c a n s , 2 0 0 0

BUILD
attriu (L5a6e
Let the Pyramid guide your
food choices
Choose a variety of grains
daily, especially whole
grains
Choose a variety of fruits
and vegetables daily
Keep food safe to eat

Let the Pyramid guide
your food choices
D
ifferent foods contain different nutrients and other
healthful substances. No single food can supply all
the nutrients in the amounts you need. For example,
oranges provide vitamin C and folate but no vitamin
B
12
; cheese provides calcium and vitamin B
12
but no
vitamin C. To make sure you get all the nutrients and
other substances you need for health, build a healthy
base by using the Food Guide Pyramid (figure 2) as a
starting point. Choose the recommended number of
daily servings from each of the five major food groups
(box 7). If you avoid all foods from any of the five food
groups, seek guidance to help ensure that you get all
the nutrients you need.
14
HOW MANY SERVINGS DO YOU NEED EACH DAY?
J
Food group
Children ages 2
to 6 years, women,
some older adults
(about 1,600
calories)
Older children,
teen girls, active
women, most men
(about 2,200
calories)
Teen boys,
active men
(about 2,800
calories)
Bread, Cereal, Rice, 6
and Pasta Group
(Grains Group)—
especially whole grain
Vegetable Group 3
Fruit Group 2
Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese 2 or 3*
Group (Milk Group)—
preferably fat free
or
low fat
Meat, Poultry, Fish, 2, for a total
Dry Beans, Eggs, and of 5 ounces
Nuts Group (Meat and
Beans Group)—preferably
lean or low fat
4
3
2 or 3*
2, for a total
of 6 ounces
11
5
4
2 or 3*
3, for a total
of 7 ounces
Adapted from U.S. Department of Agriculture, Center for Nutrition
Policy and Promotion. The Food Guide Pyramid, Home and Garden
Bulletin Number 252, 1996.
The number of servings depends on your age. Older children and
teenagers (ages 9 to 18 years) and adults over the age of 50 need
3 servings daily. Others need 2 servings daily. During pregnancy
and lactation, the recommended number of milk group servings is
the same as for nonpregnant women.
D i e t a r y G u i d e l i n e s f o r A m e r i c a n s , 2 0 0 0

B u i l d a H e a l t h y B a s e
Food
Guide
Pyramid
A Guide to Daily Food Choices
O Fat (naturafly occurring
and added)
These symbols show tat and
added sugars in foods.
Milk, Yogurt,
& Cheese
Group
2-3 SERVINGS
O Sugars
(a<5ed)
Meat, Poultry, Fish,
Dry Beans, Eggs,
& Nuts Group
2-3 SERVINGS
Fruit
Group
2-4 SERVINGS
Bread, Cereal,
Rice, & Pasta
Group
6-11
SERVINGS
15
Source: U.S. Department of AgricultureAJ.S. Department of Health and Human Services
WHAT COUNTS AS A SERVING?
Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta Group
(Grains Group)—whole grain and refined
• I slice of bread
• About 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal
• 1 /2 cup of cooked cereal, rice, or pasta
Vegetable Group
• 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables
• 1 /2 cup of other vegetables—cooked or raw
• 3/4 cup of vegetable juice
Fruit Group
• 1 medium apple, banana, orange, pear
• 1 /2 cup of chopped, cooked, or canned fruit
• 3/4 cup of fruit juice
Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese Group (Milk Group)*
• 1 cup of milk" or yogurt"
• 1 1 / 2 ounces of natural cheese" (such as
Cheddar)
• 2 ounces of processed cheese" (such as American)
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and
Nuts Group (Meat and Beans Group)
• 2-3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish
• 1 /2 cup of cooked dry beans* or 1 /2 cup of tofu
counts as 1 ounce of lean meat
• 2 1 /2-ounce soyburger or 1 egg counts as 1 ounce
of lean meat
• 2 tablespoons of peanut butter or 1 /3 cup of nuts
counts as 1 ounce of meat
NOTE: Many of the serving sizes given above are smaller than those
on the Nutrition Facts Label. For example, 1 serving of cooked
cereal, rice, or pasta is 1 cup for the label but only 1 /2 cup for the
Pyramid.
* This includes lactose-free and lactose-reduced milk products. One
cup of soy-based beverage with added calcium is an option for
those who prefer a non-dairy source of calcium.
Choose fat-free or reduced-fat dairy products most often.
Dry beans, peas, and lentils can be counted as servings in
either the meat and beans group or the vegetable group. As a
vegetable, 1 /2 cup of cooked, dry beans counts as 1 serving. As
a meat substitute, 1 cup of cooked, dry beans counts as 1 serving
(2 ounces of meat).
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B u i l d a H e a l t h y B a s e
16
J
Use plant foods as the foundation of
your meals
There
are
many ways to create a healthy eating pattern,
but
they
all
start
with
the
three
food groups at the base
of the
Pyramid: grains, fruits,
and
vegetables. Eating
a
variety
of grains (especially whole
grain foods),
fruits,
and
vegetables is the basis of
healthy
eating.
Enjoy
meals that
have
rice,
pasta, tortillas, or whole grain
bread at the center of
the plate,
accompanied by plenty
of fruits and vegetables
and
a
moderate amount of
low-
fat foods from
the milk
group and
the meat
and
beans
group.
Go easy
on
foods high in
fat
or sugars.
Keep an eye on servings
Compare the
recommended
number of servings in
box
7
and the
serving sizes in box 8 with
what
you usually
eat. If you don't
need many calories (because
you're
inactive, for example),
aim for the
lower number
of
servings. Notice that
some of the serving
sizes in box
8
are
smaller
than what you
might usually eat
or
see on
food
labels.
For
example, many people eat 2
slices of
bread in
a meal,
which
equal
2 servings. So
it's easy
to meet
the
recommended
number
of
servings. Young
children
2
to
3 years old
need
the same number of
servings
as others,
but smaller
serving
sizes except
for
milk.
Also
notice that many of the meals
and
snacks
you eat
contain
items from
several food groups. For
example,
a
sandwich may provide
bread
from
the
grains group,
turkey
from the meat
and beans group, and cheese
from
the
milk
group.
Choose
a
variety of foods
for good nutrition. Since
foods within
most
food groups
differ in their content of
nutrients
and
other beneficial substances,
choosing a
variety helps
you
get
all the nutrients and fiber you
need. It can
also help
keep
your meals
interesting from
day
to
day.
There are many healthful eating
patterns
Different people like
different foods
and like to prepare
the same foods in different ways. Culture, family
background, religion, moral beliefs, the cost and
availability of food, life experiences, food intolerances,
and
allergies affect
people's
food choices.
Use the
Food
Guide Pyramid
as
a starting point to shape your eating
pattern.
It
provides a
good guide
to
make sure
you
get
enough nutrients.
Make
choices from each
major
group
in the Food Guide Pyramid, and combine them
however
you
like. For example, those who
like Mexican
cuisine
might choose tortillas
from the
grains
group
and beans from the meat and beans
group, while those
who eat
Asian
food
might choose rice
from the
grains
group
and tofu
from the
meat and beans group.
If
you
usually avoid all
foods from
one
or
two of
the
food groups,
be
sure
to get enough nutrients from
other
food groups.
For
example,
if
you choose
not
to eat
milk
products
because of intolerance to
lactose or for
other
reasons, choose other
foods that
are good sources
of calcium
(see box
9),
and be sure to get enough
vitamin
D.
Meat, fish,
and poultry are major
contributors
of
iron, zinc,
and
B
vitamins in most
American
diets. If
you choose to
avoid
all
or most
animal products,
be sure to
get enough iron, vitamin
B
19
, calcium,
and
zinc from other sources. Vegetarian
diets can be consistent with the Dietary Guidelines
for
Americans, and meet
Recommended Dietary
Allowances for nutrients.
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B u i l d a H e a l t h y B a s e
SOME SOURCES OF CALCIUM*
• Yogurt*
• Milk***
• Natural cheeses such as Mozzarella, Cheddar,
Swiss, and Parmesan*
• Soy-based beverage with added
ca
cium
• Tofu, if made with calcium sulfate (read the
ingredient list)
• Breakfast cereal with added calcium
• Canned fish with soft bones such as salmon,
sardines^
• Fruit juice with added calcium
• Pudding made with milk*
• Soup made with milk
#
• Dark-green leafy vegetables such as collards,
turnip greens
• Read food
labels for
brand-specific information.
"
This includes lactose-free and lactose-reduced
milk.

Choose low-fat or fat-free
milk
products most often.
f
High in
salt.
Growing children, teenagers, women,
and older adults have higher needs for
some nutrients

Adolescents and adults
over
age 50 have
an
especially
high need for calcium, but most people need to
eat
plenty of
good sources of
calcium
for
healthy bones
throughout life.
When
selecting
dairy
products to get
enough calcium,
choose those that
are
low in fat or
fat
free
to avoid
getting
too much
saturated fat. Young
children, teenage girls,
and women of childbearing
age
need enough
good sources of iron,
such as lean
meats
and cereals with added nutrients, to keep
up their iron
stores (see
box 10). Women
who
could become
pregnant need extra folic acid,
and older
adults
need
extra vitamin
D.
SOME SOURCES OF IRON*
• Shellfish like shrimp, clams, mussels, and oysters
• Lean meats (especially beef), liver** and other
organ meats**
• Ready-to-eat cereals with added iron
• Turkey dark meat (remove skin to reduce fat)
• Sardines'
1
'
• Spinach
• Cooked dry beans (such as kidney beans and
pinto beans), peas (such as black-eyed peas),
and lentils
• Enriched and whole grain breads
• Read food labels for brand-specific information.
** Very high in cholesterol.
f
High in salt.
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B u i l d a H e a l t h y B a s e
Check the food label before you buy
Food labels have several parts, including the
front
panel,
Nutrition Facts, and
ingredient
list. The front
panel often tells you
if
nutrients have
been added—for
example, "iodized salt" lets
you know
that iodine
has
been added,
and
"enriched
pasta"
(or
"enriched" grain
of
any
type) means
that thiamin,
riboflavin, niacin,
iron,
and
folic
acid have been added.
The
ingredient list tells you
what's
in
the food,
including
any
nutrients,
fats, or
sugars
that have been
added. The ingredients
are
listed in descending order
by
weight.
See figure 3 to learn
how to
read
the Nutrition Facts.
Use
the Nutrition
Facts
to
see if
a
food is a good source
of
a nutrient
or
to
compare
similar foods—for
example,
to find
which brand of
frozen dinner is
lower in
saturated fat, or
which
kind of
breakfast cereal contains
18
more
folic
acid.
Look
at the %
Daily Value
(%DV)
column
to see whether
a
food
is high or
low
in
nutrients.
If you want
to
limit
a nutrient (such
as fat,
saturated fat,
cholesterol,
sodium), try to choose foods
with a
lower %DV. If you want
to
consume more of a
nutrient (such as
calcium,
other vitamins
and minerals,
fiber), try to
choose foods with a higher %DV. As a
guide,
foods with 5%DV or less
contribute
a small
amount of that
nutrient to your
eating pattern,
while
those
with
20%
or more contribute a large amount.
Remember,
Nutrition Facts serving
sizes
may
differ
from
those
used
in
the
Food
Guide Pyramid
(see
box
8).
For example,
2 ounces of dry macaroni
yields about 1
cup
cooked,
or two (1/2 cup)
Pyramid
servings.
Use of dietary supplements
Some people need a vitamin-mineral supplement to
meet specific
nutrient
needs. For example, women
who
could become
pregnant
are advised
to
eat
foods
fortified
with
folic acid or to
take a folic acid supplement
in
addition to consuming
folate-rich foods to
reduce
the
risk of some
serious
birth defects.
Older adults
and
people with little exposure
to sunlight may need a
vitamin
D
supplement. People
who
seldom
eat dairy
Figure 3
HOW TO READ A NUTRITION
FACTS LABEL

Start — ^
Here
Limit these
Nutrients
Get Enough
of these
Nutrients
/
Footnote (
Macaroni & Cheese
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
1 cup
(228g)
Servings Per Container 2
Amount Per Serving
Calories 250 Calories from Fat 1 1 0
%
Daily
Value*
Total Fat 12g 18%
Saturated Fat 3g
15%
Cholesterol
30mg
10%
Sodium 470mg 20%
Total Carbohydrate 31 g 10%
Dietary Fiber Og 0%
Sugars 5g
Protein 5g
Vitamin A 4%
Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 20%
Iron 4%
' Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on
your calorie needs:
Calories: 2,000 2.500
Total Fat Less Irian 65g 80g
Sal Fat Less than 20g 25g
Cholesterol Less than SOOmg SOOmg
Sodium Less than 2,400mg 2.400mg
Total Carbohydrate 300g 375g
Dietary Fiber 25g 30g
Quick Guide to % Daily Value
5% or less is Low
20% or more is High

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B u i l d a H e a l t h y B a s e
products or other rich sources of calcium need a
calcium supplement, and people who eat no animal
foods need to take a vitamin B
19
supplement.
Sometimes vitamins or minerals are prescribed for
meeting nutrient needs or for therapeutic purposes.
For example, health care providers may advise pregnant
women to take an iron supplement, and adults over age
50 to get their vitamin B
12
from a supplement or from
fortified foods.
Supplements of some nutrients, such as vitamin A and
selenium, can be harmful if taken in large amounts.
Because foods contain many substances that promote
health, use the Food Guide Pyramid when choosing
foods. Don't depend on supplements to meet your usual
nutrient needs.
Dietary supplements include not only vitamins and
minerals, but also amino acids, fiber, herbal products,
and many other substances that are widely available.
Herbal products usually provide a very small amount of
vitamins and minerals. The value of herbal products for
health is currently being studied. Standards for their
purity, potency, and composition are being developed.
A D V I C E F O R T O D A Y
H Build
a
healthy
base:
Use
the Food Guide Pyramid
to
help make
healthy food choices that
you
can
enjoy.
• Build
your
eating pattern
on a variety
of
plant
foods,
including
whole
grains, fruits,
and vegetables.
I Also
choose
some
low-fat
dairy
products and low-fat
foods
from the meat and beans
group each
day.
• It's
fine
to
enjoy
fats
and sweets occasionally.
19
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.
Choose a variety of grains daily,
especially whole grains
20
J
F
oods made from grains (like wheat, rice, and oats)
help form the foundation of a nutritious diet. They
provide vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates (starch and
dietary fiber), and other substances that are important
for good health. Grain products are low in fat, unless fat
is added in processing, in preparation, or at the table.
Whole grains differ from refined grains in the amount
of fiber and nutrients they provide, and different whole
grain foods differ in nutrient content, so choose a
variety of whole and enriched grains. Eating plenty of
whole grains, such as whole wheat bread or oatmeal
(see box 11), as part of the healthful eating patterns
described by these guidelines, may help protect you
against many chronic diseases. Aim for at least 6
servings of grain products per day—more if you are
an older child or teenager, an adult man, or an active
woman (see box 7)—and include several servings of
whole grain foods. See box 8 for serving sizes.
Why choose whole grain foods?
Vitamins,
minerals, fiber,
and
other protective
substances in
whole grain
foods contribute
to
the
health benefits of
whole
grains. Refined grains are
low
in fiber
and in the
protective substances
that
accompany fiber.
Eating
plenty of
fiber-containing
foods, such as
whole
grains (and
also many fruits and
vegetables)
promotes proper
bowel
function.
The high
fiber content
of
many
whole grains
may also help you
to feel
full with fewer
calories. Fiber is best obtained
from foods like
whole
grains, fruits, and vegetables
rather than from fiber supplements
for several
reasons:
there are many
types of fiber, the
composition
of
fiber
is
poorly understood, and other protective substances
accompany
fiber
in
foods. Use
the
Nutrition
Facts Label
to help choose
grains that
are
rich
in fiber and
low in
saturated fat and
sodium.
HOW TO INCREASE YOUR INTAKE OF WHOLE GRAIN FOODS
Choose foods that name one of the following ingredients first on the label's ingredient list
(see sample in figure 4).
• brown rice • oatmeal • whole oats
• bulgur (cracked wheat) • popcorn • whole rye
• graham flour • pearl barley • whole wheat
• whole grain corn
Try some of these whole grain foods: whole wheat bread, whole grain ready-to-eat cereal,
low-fat whole wheat crackers, oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, whole barley in soup, tabouli salad.
NOTE: "Wheat flour," "enriched flour," and "degerminated corn meal" are not whole grains.
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B u i l d a H e a t h y B a s e
Figure 4
SAMPLE INGREDIENT LIST FOR A
WHOLE GRAIN FOOD
INGREDIENTS;(WHOLE WHEAT FLOURJ
WATER, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, WHEAT
GLUTEN, SOYBEAN AND/OR CANOLA OIL,
YEAST, SALT, HONEY.
Enriched grains are a new source of
folic acid
Folic acid,
a
form of
folate, is
now
added to
all
enriched
grain products (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and iron
have been
added
to
enriched grains
for
many years).
Folate
is a B
vitamin
that
reduces the risk of some
serious types of birth defects when consumed before
and
during
early
pregnancy. Studies are underway to
clarify whether it decreases
risk for
coronary heart
disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer. Whole grain
foods naturally contain some folate, but only a few
(mainly ready-to-eat breakfast cereals) contain added
folic
acid
as
well.
Read
the
ingredient
label to
find
out
if
folic acid and other nutrients
have
been added, and
check the
Nutrition Facts
Label to compare the
nutrient content of foods like breakfast cereals.
A D V I C E F O R T O D A Y
H Build a healthy base by making a variety of grain
products a foundation of your
diet.
H Eat 6 or more servings of grain products daily
(whole grain and refined breads,
cereals, pasta, and
rice). Include several
servings
of whole
grain foods
daily for their good taste and their health benefits.
If your calorie needs are low, have only 6 servings of
a sensible size daily (see box 8 for examples
of
serving sizes).
• Eat foods made from a variety of whole grains—
such as whole wheat, brown rice, oats, and whole
grain
corn—every
day.
• Combine whole grains
with other
tasty, nutritious
foods in
mixed dishes.
• Prepare or choose grain products with little added
saturated
fat
and
a
moderate or low amount
of
added
sugars.
Also, check the sodium content on
the Nutrition
Facts
Label.
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Choose a variety of fruits and
vegetables daily
F
ruits and
vegetables are key parts
of your daily diet.
Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables
of different
kinds, as part
of
the
healthful
eating patterns described
by these
guidelines, may help
protect you against many
chronic diseases.
It also promotes healthy bowel
function. Fruits and
vegetables
provide essential
vitamins
and
minerals, fiber, and other substances that
are important
for
good health. Most people, including
children, eat fewer
servings
of fruits
and vegetables
than are
recommended.
To promote your health, eat a
22 variety of fruits and vegetables—at least 2 servings of
fruits
and 3 servings
of vegetables—each day.
Why eat plenty of different fruits and
vegetables?

Different fruits
and
vegetables are rich in different
nutrients (see box
12).
Some fruits
and
vegetables are
excellent sources
of
carotenoids, including those
which
form vitamin A, while
others
may be rich in vitamin C,
folate,
or
potassium. Fruits and vegetables,
especially
dry beans and peas, also contain fiber
and
other
substances
that
are
associated
with good health.
Dark-
green
leafy vegetables, deeply colored
fruits, and
dry
beans and peas are
especially rich
in many nutrients.
Most fruits and vegetables are
naturally
low in fat and
calories
and are filling. Some
are high
in fiber,
and
many are quick
to
prepare and easy to eat. Choose
whole or cut-up fruits and vegetables rather than juices
most often. Juices contain little
or no
fiber.
WHICH FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
PROVIDE THE MOST NUTRIENTS?
The lists below show which fruits and vegetables are
the best sources of vitamin A (carotenoids), vitamin
C, folate, and potassium. Eat at least 2 servings of
fruits and at least 3 servings of vegetables each day:
Sources of vitamin A (carotenoids)
• Orange vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes,
pumpkin
• Dark-green leafy vegetables such as spinach,
collards, turnip greens
• Orange fruits like mango, cantaloupe, apricots
• Tomatoes
Sources of vitamin C
• Citrus fruits and juices, kiwi fruit, strawberries,
cantaloupe
• Broccoli, peppers, tomatoes, cabbage, potatoes
• Leafy greens such as romaine lettuce, turnip
greens, spinach
Sources of folate
• Cooked dry beans and peas, peanuts
• Oranges, orange juice
• Dark-green leafy vegetables like spinach and
mustard greens, romaine lettuce
• Green peas
Sources of potassium
• Baked white or sweet potato, cooked greens
(such as spinach), winter (orange) squash
• Bananas, plantains, dried fruits such as apricots
and prunes, orange juice
• Cooked dry beans (such as baked beans) and
lentils
NOTE: Read Nutrition Facts Labels for product-specific
information, especially for processed fruits and vegetables.
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B u i l d a H e a l t h y B a s e
Aim for Variety
Try many
colors
and
kinds.
Choose
any form:
fresh,
frozen,
canned, dried, juices.
All forms provide
vitamins
and minerals, and all provide
fiber
except
for
most
juices—so
choose
fruits and vegetables most
often.
Wash fresh
fruits
and vegetables thoroughly before
using. If
you
buy
prepared
vegetables,
check the
Nutrition
Facts Label to find choices that are low
in
saturated fat and
sodium.
Try
serving
fruits
and vegetables
in new
ways:
I
raw
vegetables
with a low- or
reduced-fat dip

vegetables stir-fried
in
a
small
amount of vegetable
oil

fruits
or
vegetables
mixed
with other foods
in
salads,
casseroles, soups,
sauces (for example, add shredded
vegetables when
making meatloaf)
Find ways to include plenty of different
fruits and vegetables in your meals and
snacks

Buy
wisely.
Frozen or
canned fruits and vegetables
are
sometimes best
buys, and
they are rich in
nutrients.
If
fresh fruit
is
very ripe, buy only enough
to use
right away.

Store properly to maintain quality. Refrigerate
most
fresh fruits (not bananas) and vegetables
(not
potatoes
or
tomatoes)
for longer
storage, and
arrange
them so you'll
use
up the ripest ones first.
If
you
cut them up or open a can,
cover and
refrigerate afterward.
H
Keep ready-to-eat raw vegetables handy
in a
clear
container in
the front
of your
refrigerator for snacks
or
meals-on-the-go.
I Keep
a
day's supply of fresh or dried fruit handy on
the
table or counter.
• Enjoy fruits as a
naturally
sweet end to a meal.

When eating
out,
choose
a
variety
of
vegetables
at a
salad bar.
A D V I C E F O R T O D A Y
• Enjoy
five
a day—eat at least 2 servings of fruit and
at least
3
servings of vegetables
each
day (see
box 8
for
serving sizes).
• Choose
fresh,
frozen,
dried,
or canned forms and
a variety of colors and kinds.
• Choose dark-green
leafy
vegetables, orange fruits
and vegetables, and cooked
dry beans and peas
often.
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Keep food safe to eat
24
J
F
oods that are safe from harmful bacteria, viruses,
parasites, and chemical contaminants are vital for
healthful eating. Safe means that the food poses little
risk of foodborne illness (see box 13). Farmers, food
producers, markets, food service establishments, and
other food preparers have a role to keep food as safe as
possible. However, we also need to keep and prepare
foods safely in the home, and be alert when eating out.
WHAT IS FOODBORNE ILLNESS?
Foodborne illness is caused by eating food that
contains harmful bacteria, toxins, parasites, viruses,
or chemical contaminants. Bacteria and viruses,
especially Campylobacter, Salmonella, and
Norwalk-like viruses, are among the most common
causes of foodborne illness we know about today.
Eating even a small portion
of
an unsafe food may
make you sick. Signs and symptoms may appear
within half an hour of eating a contaminated food
or may not develop for up to 3 weeks. Most
foodborne illness lasts a few hours or days. Some
foodborne illnesses have effects that go on for
weeks, months, or even years. If you think
you have
become
ill
from eating a food, consult your health
care provider.
Follow the steps below to keep your food safe. Be very
careful with perishable foods such as eggs, meats,
poultry, fish, shellfish, milk products, and fresh fruits
and vegetables. If you are at high risk of foodborne
illness, be extra careful (see box 14).
TIPS FOR THOSE AT HIGH RISK OF
FOODBORNE ILLNESS
Who is at high risk of foodborne illness?
Pregnant women
• Young children
• Older persons
• People with weakened immune systems
or certain chronic illnesses
Besides following the guidance in this guideline,
some of

the
extra precautions those at high risk
should take are:
• Do not eat or drink unpasteurized juices, raw
sprouts, raw (unpasteurized) milk and products
made from unpasteurized milk.
• Do not eat raw or undercooked meat, poultry,
eggs, fish, and shellfish (clams, oysters, scallops,
and mussels).
New information on food safety
is
constantly
emerging. Recommendations and precautions for
people at high risk are updated as scientists learn
more about preventing foodborne illness. If

you
are among those at high
risk, you need
to be
aware of and follow the most current information
on
food safety.
For the latest information and precautions, call
USDA's Meat and Poultry Hotline, 1-800-535-4555,
or FDA's Food Information Line, 1-888-SAFE FOOD,
or
consult your
health care provider. You can
also get up-to-date information by checking the
government's food safety website at
www. fooa'safety.gov.
D i e t a r y G u i d e l i n e s f o r A m e r i c a n s , 2 0 0 0

B u i l d a H e a l t h y B a s e
Clean. Wash hands and surfaces often
Wash your hands with warm soapy water for 20 seconds
(count
to
30)
before you handle food or food utensils.
Wash
your hands after handling or preparing food,
especially after handling raw meat, poultry, fish,
shellfish, or
eggs.
Right after
you
prepare these raw
foods,
clean the utensils
and
surfaces
you used with hot
soapy water. Replace
cutting
boards once they have
become worn or develop hard-to-clean grooves.
Wash
raw fruit and vegetables under running water before
eating. Use a
vegetable brush to remove surface dirt if
necessary. Always wash your hands after using the
bathroom, changing diapers, or
playing with pets.
When eating out, if the
tables, dinnerware, and
restrooms look
dirty, the kitchen may
be, too—so
you may want to eat somewhere else.
Separate. Separate raw, cooked, and
ready-to-eat foods while shopping,
preparing, or storing
Keep
raw meat, poultry,
eggs,
fish, and shellfish away
from other foods, surfaces, utensils, or serving
plates.
This prevents cross-contamination from one food to
another. Store raw meat, poultry, fish, and shellfish in
containers in the refrigerator so that the
juices don't
drip onto other foods.
Cook. Cook foods to a safe
temperature

Uncooked and
undercooked animal foods are
potentially unsafe. Proper cooking makes
most
uncooked foods
safe. The
best way to
tell if
meat,
poultry, or
egg dishes
are
cooked to a safe
temperature
is to
use a
food thermometer
(figure 5). Several
kinds
of inexpensive
food
thermometers are available in
many
stores.
Reheat sauces, soups,
marinades, and gravies
to a boil.
Reheat leftovers thoroughly to at least
165°
F. If
using
a
microwave oven, cover
the container and turn
or stir
the food
to make sure it
is
heated evenly throughout.
Cook eggs
until whites and yolks
are firm.
Don't eat
raw
or
partially
cooked
eggs, or
foods
containing
raw
eggs, raw
(unpasteurized) milk, or
cheeses
made with
Figure 5
COOK FOODS TO A SAFE
TEMPERATURE
Recommended Safe Cooking
Temperatures
180°F —
170°F —
165°F —
160°F —
0°F
Whole
Poultry
Poultry Breast,
Weil-Done Meats
Stuffing, Ground Poultry,
Reheat Leftovers
Meats-Medium,
Raw Eggs, Egg Dishes,
Pork and Ground Meats
Medium-Rare Beef Steaks,
Roasts, Veal, Lamb
Hold I lot Foods
DANGER
ZONE
for Bacterial
Growth
Refrigerator
Temperatures
Freezer
Temperatures
25
J
These food temperatures are for home use.
They are not intended for processing,
institutional, or foodservice preparation.
D i e t a r y G u i d e l i n e s f o r A m e r i c a n s , 2 0 0 0

26
J
B u i l d a H e a l t h y B a s e
raw milk. Choose pasteurized
juices. The risk of
contamination is high
from undercooked hamburger,
and
from raw fish (including
sushi), clams, and oysters.
Cook fish and
shellfish
until it is opaque; fish should
flake easily
with a fork.
When eating out, order foods
thoroughly cooked and make sure they
are
served
piping hot.
Chill. Refrigerate perishable foods
promptly
When shopping, buy
perishable foods
last,
and take
them
straight
home.
At
home, refrigerate
or
freeze
meat,
poultry,
eggs,
fish, shellfish,
ready-to-eat foods,
and
leftovers promptly.
Refrigerate within
2 hours of
purchasing or preparation—and
within 1 hour if
the air temperature
is
above
90°
F.
Refrigerate at or
below 40° F, or
freeze
at
or
below 0°
F. Use refrigerated
leftovers within 3
to 4 days. Freeze fresh meat, poultry,
fish, and shellfish that cannot be
used in
a
few days.
Thaw frozen meat, poultry, fish, and shellfish in the
refrigerator,
microwave,
or cold water changed every
30 minutes. (This keeps the surface
chilled.)
Cook
foods
immediately after
thawing. Never thaw
meat,
poultry, fish,
or
shellfish
at
room temperature. When
eating out, make sure that any foods you order that
should be refrigerated are served chilled.
Follow the label
Read the label and follow
safety instructions
on the
package such as "KEEP
REFRIGERATED" and
the
"SAFE IIANDL1NG
INSTRUCTIONS."
Serve safely
Keep hot foods hot (140° F or above) and cold foods
cold (40° F or below). Harmful bacteria can grow
rapidly in the "danger zone" between these
temperatures. Whether raw or cooked, never leave
meat, poultry, eggs, fish, or shellfish out at room
temperature for more than 2 hours (1 hour in hot
weather 90° F or above). Be sure to chill leftovers as
soon as you are finished eating. These guidelines also
apply to carry-out meals, restaurant leftovers, and
home-packed meals-to-go.
When in doubt, throw it out
If you
aren't sure that food has been
prepared,
served,
or stored safely,
throw
it out.
You
may not be able to
make food safe
if
it has been handled
in
an unsafe
manner.
For
example, a food that has been left at
room
temperature too long may contain a
toxin
produced by
bacteria—one
that
can't be destroyed
by cooking. So
if
meat, poultry, fish, shellfish,
or eggs have been left out
for more
than
2
hours,
or
if the food has
been kept in
the
refrigerator too long,
don't
taste it. Just throw it
out.
Even
if it
looks and smells fine,
it
may
not
be safe
to eat. If you have
doubt
when you're shopping
or
eating out, choose something else. For more
information, contact USDA's
Meat
and Poultry Hotline,
1-800-535-4555,
or FDA's Food
Information Line,
1-888-SAFEFOOD.
Also,
ask your
local
or state health
department
or
Cooperative Extension Service Office for
further guidance.
A D V I C E F O R T O D A Y

Build
a healthy base by keeping food safe to eat.
H
Clean. Wash hands and surfaces often.
I
Separate. Separate raw, cooked, and ready-to-eat
foods
while shopping, preparing, or storing.

Cook. Cook foods to a safe
temperature.

Chill. Refrigerate perishable
foods
promptly.
I Check
and follow the
label.

Serve
safely.
Keep hot
foods hot
and
cold foods
cold.

When
in doubt, throw
it out.
D i e t a r y G u i d e l i n e s f o r A m e r i c a n s , 2 0 0 0

CHOOSE
Choose a diet that is low
in saturated fat and
cholesterol and moderate
in total fat
Choose beverages and
foods to moderate your
intake of sugars
Choose and prepare foods
with less salt
If you drink alcoholic
beverages, do so in
moderation

Choose a diet that is low in
saturated fat and cholesterol

and moderate in total fat
28
J
F
ats supply energy and essential fatty acids, and they
help absorb the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K,
and carotenoids. You need some fat in the food you eat,
but choose sensibly. Some kinds of fat, especially
saturated fats, increase the risk for coronary heart
disease by raising the blood cholesterol (see box 15). In
contrast, unsaturated fats (found mainly in vegetable
oils) do not increase blood cholesterol. Fat intake in the
United States as a proportion of total calories is lower
than it was many years ago, but most people still eat too
KNOW THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF FATS
Saturated Fats
Foods high in saturated fats tend to raise blood
cholesterol. These foods include high-fat dairy
products (like cheese, whole milk, cream, butter,
and regular ice cream), fatty fresh and processed
meats, the skin and fat of poultry, lard, palm oil, and
coconut oil. Keep your intake of these foods low.
Dietary Cholesterol
Foods that are high in cholesterol also tend to raise
blood cholesterol. These foods include liver and
other organ meats, egg yolks, and dairy fats.
Trans Fatty Acids
Foods high in trans fatty acids tend to raise blood
cholesterol. These foods include those high in partially
hydrogenated vegetable oils, such as many hard
margarines and shortenings. Foods with a
high amount of these ingredients include some
commercially fried foods and some bakery goods.
much saturated fat. Eating lots
of fat of
any type can
provide excess calories.
Choose foods low in saturated fat and
cholesterol
See box 16 for tips on limiting the amount
of
saturated
fat and cholesterol you get from your food. Taking
these
steps can go a long way in helping to keep your
blood
cholesterol level low.
Unsaturated Fats
Unsaturated fats (oils) do not raise blood cholesterol.
Unsaturated fats occur in vegetable oils, most nuts,
olives, avocados, and fatty fish like salmon.
Unsaturated oils include both monounsaturated fats
and polyunsaturatea
1
fats. Olive, canola, sunflower,
and peanut oils are some of the oils high in
monounsaturated fats. Vegetable oils such as soybean
oil, corn oil, and cottonseed oil and many kinds of nuts
are good sources of polyunsaturated fats. Some fish,
such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel, contain omega-3
fatty acids that are being studied to determine if they
offer protection against heart disease. Use moderate
amounts of food high in unsaturated fats, taking care
to avoid excess calories.
D i e t a r y G u i d e l i n e s f o r A m e r i c a n s , 2 0 0 0

C h o o s e S e n s
FOOD CHOICES LOW IN SATURATED FAT AND CHOLESTEROL
AND MODERATE IN TOTAL FAT
Get most of your calories from plant foods (grains, fruits, vegetables). If you eat foods high
in saturated fat for a special occasion, return to foods that are low in saturated fat the next day.
Fats and Oils
• Choose vegetable oils rather than solid fats
(meat and dairy fats, shortening).
• If you need fewer calories, decrease the amount
of fat you use in cooking and at the table.
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Shellfish, Eggs,
Beans, and Nuts
• Choose 2 to 3 servings of fish, shellfish, lean
poultry, other lean meats, beans, or nuts daily. Trim
fat from meat and take skin off poultry. Choose dry
beans, peas, or lentils often.
• Limit your intake of high-fat processed meats such
as bacon, sausages, salami, bologna, and other
cold cuts. Try the lower fat varieties (check the
Nutrition Facts Label).
• Limit your intake of liver and other organ meats.
Use egg yolks and whole eggs in moderation. Use
egg whites and egg substitutes freely when cooking
since they contain no cholesterol and little or no fat.
Dairy Products
• Choose fat-free or low-fat milk, fat-free or
low-fat yogurt, and low-fat cheese most often.
Try switching from whole to fat-free or low-fat
milk. This decreases the saturated fat and
calories but keeps all other nutrients the same.
Prepared Foods
• Check the Nutrition Facts Label to see how much
saturated fat and cholesterol are in a serving of
prepared food. Choose foods lower in saturated
fat and cholesterol.
Foods at Restaurants or Other Eating
Establishments

• Choose fish or lean meats as suggested above.
Limit ground meat and fatty processed meats,
marbled steaks, and cheese.
• Limit your intake of foods with creamy sauces,
and add little or no butter to your food.
• Choose fruits as desserts most often.
29
Following the tips in the box above will help you keep
your intake of saturated fat at less than 10 percent of
calories. They will also help you keep your cholesterol
intake less than the Daily Value of 300 trig/day listed on
the Nutrition Facts Label. If you want more flexibility,
see box 17 to find out your saturated fat limit in grams.
The maximum number of saturated fat grams depends
on the amount of calories you get daily. Use Nutrition
Facts Labels to find out how much saturated fat is in
prepared foods. If you choose one food that is higher
in saturated fat, make your other choices lower in
saturated fat. This will help you stay under your
saturated fat limit for the day.
D i e t a r y G u i d e l i n e s f o r A m e r i c a n s , 2 0 0 0

C h o o s e S e n s i b l y
30
WHAT IS YOUR UPPER LIMIT ON
FAT FOR THE CALORIES YOU
CONSUME?
Total Calories Saturated Fat Total Fat
per Day in Grams in Grams
1,600
2,000*
2,200
2,500*
2,800
1 8 or less
20 or less
24 or less
25 or less
31 or less
53
65
73
80
93
* Percent Daily Values on Nutrition Facts Labels are based on a
2,000 calorie diet. Values for 2,000 and 2,500 calories are
rounded to the nearest 5 grams to be consistent with the
Nutrition Facts Label.
Different
forms of
the same food may be
very different
in their content
of saturated fat.
Box 18
provides
some
examples. Try to choose the forms of food that are
lower in
saturated fat most often.
Keep total fat intake moderate
Aim for a total fat intake of no more than 30 percent
of calories, as recommended
in
previous editions of the
Guidelines. If you need to reduce your fat intake to
achieve this level, do so primarily by cutting back on
saturated and trans fats. Check box 17
to
find out
how
many grams of fat you can have for the number of
calories you
need. For example, at 2,200 calories per
day, your
suggested upper limit on fat intake would be
about 73 grams. If you are at a healthy weight and
you
eat little saturated fat, you'll have leeway
to
eat some
plant foods that are high in unsaturated fats. To
see
if
you
need to lose weight,
see
the guideline
"Aim for
a
Healthy Weight," page 6.
Advice for children
Advice in
the previous
sections
applies to children who
are
2 years of age
or older. It does not apply
to
infants
and
toddlers
below the age
of 2
years.
Beginning at
age
2, children should get most of their calories
from grain
products; fruits; vegetables; low-fat dairy products;
and
beans,
lean meat
and
poultry,
fish,
or nuts. Be
careful,
nuts may
cause choking
in
2 to 3
year olds.
A D V I C E
F O R T O D A Y
To
reduce your intake of saturated fat and
cholesterol:
Limit
use of
solid fats,
such as butter, hard
margarines,
lard, and
partially
hydrogenated
shortenings. Use vegetable
oils as
a substitute.
Choose
fat-free or
low-fat dairy products, cooked
dry beans
and
peas, fish,
and
lean
meats
and
poultry.
Eat plenty
of grain products, vegetables, and fruits
daily.
Use the Nutrition
Facts Label to
help choose
foods
lower
in fat,
saturated fat,
and cholesterol.
D i e t a r y G u i d e l i n e s f o r A m e r i c a n s , 2 0 0 0

C h o o s e S e n s i b l y

Box
18
A COMPARISON OF
Food Category
Cheese
Regular Cheddar cheese
Low-fat Cheddar cheese*
Ground Beef
Regular ground beef
Extra lean ground beef*
Milk
Whole milk
Low-fat (1%) milk*
Breads
Croissant
Bagel*
Frozen Desserts
Regular ice cream
Frozen yogurt*
Table Spreads
Butter
Soft margarine*
SATURATED FAT IN SOME FOODS
Portion
1
oz.
1
oz.
3 oz. cooked
3 oz. cooked
1
cup
1
cup
1 medium
1 medium
1/2 cup
1/2 cup
1
tsp.
1
tsp.
Saturated
Fat Content
in Grams
6.0
1.2
7.2
5.3
5.1
1.6
6.6
0.1
4.5
2.5
2.4
0.7
31
_
J
NOTE: The food categories listed are among the major food sources of saturated fat for U.S. adults and children.
* Choice that is lower in saturated fat.
D i e t a r y G u i d e l i n e s f o r A m e r i c a n s , 2 0 0 0

Choose beverages and
foods to moderate your
intake of sugars
32
S
ugars are carbohydrates and
a
source of energy
(calories). Dietary carbohydrates also include the
complex carbohydrates starch and dietary fiber. During
digestion
all
carbohydrates except fiber break down
into sugars. Sugars and starches occur naturally in
many foods that also supply other nutrients. Examples
of these foods include milk, fruits, some vegetables,
breads, cereals, and grains.
Sugars and tooth decay
Foods containing sugars and starches can promote
tooth decay. The amount of bacteria in your mouth and
lack of exposure to fluorides also promote tooth decay.
These bacteria
use
sugars and starches
to
produce the
acid that
causes
tooth decay. The more often you eat
foods that contain sugars
and
starches, and the longer
these foods remain in your mouth before you brush
your teeth, the greater your risk for tooth decay.
Frequent eating or drinking sweet or starchy foods
between meals is more likely to harm teeth than eating
the same foods at meals and then brushing. Daily
dental hygiene, including brushing with fluoride
toothpaste and flossing, and adequate intake of
fluorides will help prevent tooth decay. Follow the
tips in box 19 for healthy
teeth.
Added sugars
Added sugars are sugars and syrups added to foods
in
processing or preparation, not the naturally occurring
sugars in foods like fruit or milk. The body cannot
tell
the difference between naturally occurring and added
sugars
because they are identical chemically. Foods
containing added sugars provide calories, but may have
few vitamins and minerals. In the United States, the
number one source of added sugars is nondiet soft
drinks (soda or pop). Sweets and candies, cakes and
cookies, and fruit drinks and fruitades are also major
sources of added sugars.
Intake of a lot of foods high in added sugars, like soft
drinks, is of concern. Consuming excess calories from
these foods may contribute to weight gain or lower
consumption of more nutritious foods. Use box 20 to
identify the most commonly eaten foods that are high
FOR HEALTHY TEETH
AND GUMS
• Between meals, eat few foods or beverages
containing sugars or starches. If you do eat
them, brush your teeth afterward to reduce risk
of tooth decay.
• Brush at least twice a day and floss daily. Use
fluoride toothpaste.
• Ask your dentist or health care provider about
the need for supplemental fluoride, or dental
sealants, especially for children and if your
drinking water is not fluoridated.
MAJOR SOURCES* OF ADDED
SUGARS IN THE UNITED STATES
• Soft drinks
• Cakes, cookies, pies
• Fruitades and drinks such as fruit punch and
lemonade
• Dairy desserts such as ice cream
• Candy
• All kinds, except diet or sugar-free
D i e t a r y G u i d e l i n e s f o r A m e r i c a n s , 2 0 0 0

C h o o s e S e n s i b l y
in added sugars (unless they are labeled "sugar free"
or "diet"). Limit your use of these beverages and foods.
Drink water to quench your thirst, and offer it to
children.
Some foods with added sugars, like chocolate milk,
presweetened cereals, and sweetened canned fruits, also
are high in vitamins and minerals. These foods may
provide extra calories along with the nutrients and are
fine if you need the extra calories.
The Nutrition Facts Label gives the content of sugars
from all sources (naturally occurring sugars plus added
sugars, if any - see figure 3). You can use the Nutrition
Facts Label to compare the amount of total sugars
among similar products. To find out if sugars have been
added, you also need to look at the food label ingredient
list. Use box 21 to identify names of some added sugars.
NAMES FOR ADDED SUGARS THAT
APPEAR ON FOOD LABELS
A food is likely to be high in sugars if one of these
names appears first or second in the ingredient list,
or if several names are listed.
Brown sugar
Corn sweetener
Corn syrup
Dextrose
Fructose
Fruit juice concentrate
Glucose
High-fructose corn syrup
Honey
Invert sugar
tactose
Malt syrup
Maltose
Molasses
Raw sugar
Sucrose
Syrup
Table sugar
Sugars and other health issues
Behavior. Intake of sugars does not appear to
affect
children's behavior patterns or their ability to learn.
Many scientific studies conclude that sugars do not
cause hyperactivity in children.
Weight control. Foods that are high in sugars but low
in essential nutrients primarily contribute calories to
the diet. When
you
take in extra calories
and
don't
offset them by increasing your physical activity, you
will
gain weight. As you aim for a healthy weight and
fitness, keep an eye on portion size for
all
foods and
beverages, not only those high
in
sugars.
See
box 3.
A D V I C E F O R T O D A Y
Choose sensibly to limit your intake of beverages
and foods
that
are high
in
added
sugars.
Get most of your calories from
grains
(especially
whole grains), fruits and vegetables, low-fat or
non-fat dairy products, and
lean
meats or
meat
substitutes.
Take care not to
let
soft drinks or other sweets
crowd out other foods you
need
to maintain health,
such as low-fat milk or other good sources of
calcium.
Follow the simple tips listed in box 19 to keep your
teeth and gums healthy.
Drink water often.
33
A
Sugar substitutes
Sugar substitutes such as saccharin, aspartame,
acesulfame potassium, and sucralose are extremely low
in calories. Some people find them useful if they want a
sweet taste without the calories. Some foods that
contain sugar substitutes, however, still have calories.
Unless you reduce the total calories you eat or increase
your physical activity, using sugar substitutes will not
cause you to lose weight.
D i e t a r y G u i d e l i n e s f o r A m e r i c a n s , 2 0 0 0

Choose and prepare foods
with less salt
"
34
JLJiany people can reduce their chances
of
I '"developing high
blood pressure by consuming
less salt. Several other steps can also
help
keep your
blood pressure in the healthy range (see box 22). In the
body, sodium—which you get mainly from salt—plays
an essential role in regulating fluids and blood
pressure. Many studies in diverse populations
have
shown that a high sodium intake
is
associated with
higher blood pressure.
There is no way to tell who might develop high blood
pressure from eating too much salt. However,
consuming less salt or sodium is not harmful and can
be recommended for the healthy, normal person
(see
box
23).
At present, the
firmest
link between salt intake and
health relates to blood pressure. High salt intake also
increases the amount of calcium excreted in the urine.
Eating less
salt
may decrease the
loss of calcium
from
bone. Loss of too much
calcium from bone increases
the risk of
osteoporosis
and
bone
fractures.
Salt is found mainly in processed and
prepared foods
Salt (sodium chloride) is
the main source
of sodium
in foods (see box
24). Only small
amounts of salt
occur
naturally in foods.
Most
of the
salt
you
eat
comes from
foods that have
salt
added during
food
processing or
during preparation in a restaurant or at home. Some
recipes include table salt
or a salty
broth
or sauce, and
some cooking styles call for
adding a
very
salty
seasoning such
as soy
sauce.
Not all foods
with added
salt taste
salty.
Some
people
add salt
or a salty seasoning
to their food at the
table. Your preference for salt may
decrease
if
you gradually
add
smaller
amounts
of salt
or
salty seasonings
to your food
over a period of time.
STEPS THAT MAY HELP KEEP
BLOOD PRESSURE IN A HEALTHY
RANGE

• Choose and prepare foods with less salt.
• Aim for a healthy weight: blood pressure
increases with increases in body weight and
decreases when excess weight is reduced.
• Increase physical activity: it helps lower blood
pressure, reduce risk of other chronic diseases,
and manage weight.
• Eat fruits and vegetables. They are naturally
low in salt and calories. They are also rich in
potassium (see box 1 2), which may help
decrease blood pressure.
• If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in
moderation. Excessive alcohol consumption
has been associated with high blood pressure.
IS LOWERING SALT INTAKE SAFE?
• Eating too little salt is not generally a concern
for healthy people. If you are being treated for
a chronic health problem, ask your doctor about
whether it is safe for you to reduce your salt
intake.
• Some table salt is fortified with iodine. If you use
table salt to meet your need for iodine, a small
amount—about 1 /4 teaspoon of iodized salt—
provides more than half the daily iodine
allowance.
• Your body can adjust to prevent too much
sodium loss when you exercise heavily or when
it is very hot. However, if you plan to reduce
your salt intake and you exercise vigorously, it
is sensible to decrease gradually the amount of
salt you consume.
D i e t a r y G u i d e l i n e s f o r A m e r i c a n s , 2 0 0 0

C h o o s e S e n s i b
Aim for a moderate sodium intake
Most people consume too much salt, so moderate
your salt intake. Healthy children and adults need to
consume only small amounts of salt to meet their
sodium needs—less
than 1/4
teaspoon of salt daily.
The
Nutrition Facts Label
lists a
Daily Value of 2,400 mg of
sodium per day
(see
figure 3). This
is
the amount of
SALT VERSUS SODIUM
• Salt contains sodium. Sodium is a substance
that affects blood pressure.
• The best way to cut back on sodium is to cut
back on salt and salty foods and seasonings.
• When reading a Nutrition Facts Label, look for
the sodium content (see figure 3). Foods that are
low in sodium (less than 5% of the Daily Value
or DV) are low in salt.
sodium in about 1 teaspoon of salt. See box 25 for
helpful hints on how to
keep
your sodium
intake
moderate.
A D V I C E F O R T O D A Y
Choose sensibly to moderate your
salt
intake.
Choose fruits and vegetables often. They contain
very little salt unless
it
is added
in processing.
Read
the
Nutrition Facts Label to compare and
help
identify foods lower in sodium—especially prepared
foods.
Use herbs, spices, and fruits to flavor food, and cut
the amount of salty seasonings by half.
If you eat restaurant foods or fast foods, choose
those that are prepared with only moderate amounts
of
salt
or salty flavorings.
35
WAYS TO DECREASE YOUR SALT INTAKE
At the Store
• Choose fresh, plain frozen, or canned vegetables
without added salt most often—they're low in salt.
• Choose fresh or frozen fish, shellfish, poultry, and
meat most often. They are lower in salt than most
canned and processed forms.
• Read the Nutrition Facts Label (see figure 3) to
compare the amount of sodium in processed
foods—such as frozen dinners, packaged mixes,
cereals, cheese, breads, soups, salad dressings,
and sauces. The amount in different types and
brands often varies widely.
• Look for labels that say "low-sodium." They contain
140 mg (about 5% of the Daily Value) or less of
sodium per serving.
• Ask your grocer or supermarket to offer more low-
sodium foods.
Cooking and Eating at Home
• If you salt foods in cooking or at the table, add
small amounts. Learn to use spices and herbs,
rather than salt, to enhance the flavor of food.
• Go easy on condiments such as soy sauce, ketchup,
mustard, pickles, and olives—they can add a lot of
salt to your food.
• Leave the salt shaker in a cupboard.
Eating Out
• Choose plain foods like grilled or roasted entrees,
baked potatoes, and salad with oil and vinegar.
Batter-fried foods tend to be high in salt, as do
combination dishes like stews or pasta with sauce.
• Ask to have no salt added when the food is
prepared.
Any Time
• Choose fruits and vegetables often.
• Drink water freely. It is usually very low in sodium.
Check the label on bottled water for sodium
content.
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If you drink alcoholic beverages/
do so in moderation
36
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Icoholic beverages supply calories but few
rients. Alcoholic beverages are harmful when
consumed in excess, and some people should not drink
at all. Excess alcohol alters judgment and can lead to
dependency and a great many other serious health
problems. Taking more than one drink per day for
women or two drinks per day for men (see box 26) can
raise the risk for motor vehicle crashes, other injuries,
high blood pressure, stroke, violence, suicide, and
certain types of cancer. Even one drink per day can
slightly raise the risk of breast cancer. Alcohol
consumption during pregnancy increases risk of birth
defects. Too much alcohol may cause social and
psychological problems, cirrhosis of the liver,
inflammation of the pancreas, and damage to the
brain and heart. Heavy drinkers also are at risk of
malnutrition because alcohol contains calories that
may substitute for those in nutritious foods. If adults
choose to drink alcoholic beverages, they should
consume them only in moderation (see box 26)—
and with meals to slow alcohol absorption.
WHAT IS DRINKING IN
MODERATION?
Moderation is defined as no more than one drink
per day for women and no more than two drinks
per day for men. This limit Is based on differences
between the sexes In both weight and metabolism.
Count as a drink
12 ounces of regular beer (150 calories)
5 ounces of wine (100 calories)
1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits
(100 calories)
NOTE: Even moderate drinking provides extra calories.
Drinking in moderation may lower risk for coronary
heart disease, mainly among men over age 45 and
women over age 55. However, there are other factors
that reduce the risk of heart disease, including a
healthy diet, physical activity, avoidance of smoking,
and maintenance of a healthy weight.
Moderate consumption provides little, if any, health
benefit for younger people. Risk of alcohol abuse
increases when drinking starts at an early age. Some
studies suggest that older people may become more
sensitive to the effects of alcohol as they age.
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C h o o s e S e n s i b l y
Who should not drink?
Some people should not drink alcoholic beverages
at all. These include:
Children and adolescents.
Individuals of any age who cannot restrict their
drinking to moderate levels. This is a special
concern for recovering alcoholics, problem
drinkers, and people whose family members have
alcohol problems.
Women who may become pregnant or who are
pregnant. A safe level of alcohol intake has not
been established for women at any time
during
pregnancy, including the first few weeks. Major
birth defects, including fetal alcohol syndrome,
can be caused by heavy drinking by
the
pregnant
mother. Other fetal alcohol effects may occur
at
lower levels.
Individuals who plan to drive, operate machinery,
or take part in other activities that require
attention, skill, or coordination. Most people retain
some alcohol in the blood up to 2 to 3 hours after a
single drink.
Individuals taking prescription or over-the-counter
medications that can interact with alcohol. Alcohol
alters the effectiveness or toxicity of many
medications, and some medications may increase
blood alcohol levels. If you take medications, ask
your health care provider for advice about alcohol
intake, especially if you are an older adult.
A D V I C E F O R T O D A Y
If
you choose to drink alcoholic beverages, do so
sensibly, and
in
moderation.
Limit
intake to one drink per day
for
women or two
per day for men, and take with meals to slow alcohol
absorption.
Avoid drinking before or when driving, or whenever
it puts you or others at risk.
37
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Acknowledgments
The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
acknowledge the recommendations of the Dietary
Guidelines Advisory Committee—the basis for this
edition. The Committee consisted of Cutberto Garza,
M.D., Ph.D. (chair), Suzanne P. Murphy, Ph.D., R.D.
(vice-chair), Richard J. Deckelbaum, M.D., Johanna
Dwyer, D.Sc., R.D., Scott M. Grundy, M.D., Ph.D.,
Rachel K. Johnson, Ph.D., M.P.H., R.D., Shiriki K.
Kumanyika, Ph.D., Alice H. Lichtenstein, D.Sc., Meir
Stampfer, M.D., Dr. PH., Lesley Pels Tinker, Ph.D., and
Roland L. Weinsier, M.D., Dr. P.H. Carol Suitor, D.Sc.,
R.D., served as the Committee's technical writer/editor.
The Departments also acknowledge the staff work of
the executive secretaries to the Committee: Shanthy
Bowman, Ph.D., and Carole Davis, M.S., R.D., from
USDA; Kathryn McMurry, M.S., and Joan Lyon, M.S.,
R.D., L.D., from HHS.
D i e t a r y G u i d e l i n e s f o r A m e r i c a n s , 2 0 0 0

For additional information on nutrition:
Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, USDA
1120 20th Street, NW, Suite 200, North Lobby
Washington, DC 20036
Internet: www.usda.gov/cnpp
Food and Nutrition Information Center
National Agricultural Library, USDA
10301 Baltimore Boulevard, Room 304
Beltsville, MD 20705-2351
Internet: www.nal.usda.gov/fnic
healthfinder®—Gateway to Reliable Consumer
Health Information
National Health Information Center
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
P.O.
Box
1133
Washington, DC 20013-1133
Internet: www.healthfinder.gov
Cancer Information Service
Office of Cancer Communications
National Cancer Institute
Building 31, Room 10A16
9000 Rockville Pike
Bethesda, MD 20892
Internet: cis.nci.nih.gov
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
Information Center
P.O. Box 30105
Bethesda, MD 20824-0105
Internet: www.nhlbi. nih.gov
Food Safety and Inspection Service, USDA
Food Safety Education Staff
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Room 2942S
Washington, DC 20250
Internet: www.fsis.usda.gov
Gateway to Government Food Safety Information
Internet: www.foodsafety.gov
• National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive
and Kidney Diseases
Office of Communications and Public Liaison
31 Center Drive, MSC 2560
Bethesda, MD 20892-2560
Internet: www.niddk.nih.gov
• National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and
Alcoholism
600 Executive Boulevard, Suite 409
Bethesda, MD 20892-7003
Internetwww.niaaa.nih.gov
• National Institute on Aging Information Center
Building 31, Room 5C27
Bethesda, MD 20892
Internet: www.aoa.gov/elderpage.htmlWap
• Food and Drug Administration
200 C Street, SW
Washington, DC 20204
Internet: www.fda.gov
• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30333
Internet: www.cdc.gov
• Contact your county extension home economist
(cooperative extension system) or a nutrition
professional in your local public health department,
hospital, American Red Cross, dietetic association,
diabetes association, heart association, or cancer
society.
39
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NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL LIBRARY
1022546668
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs
and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, disability,
political beliefs, sexual orientation, or marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases
apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for
communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should
contact USDAs TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).
To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights,
Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC
20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice or TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity
provider and employer.

USDA
1022546668
4
*43Q A ^**
United States United States
Department of Department of
Agriculture Health and
Human Services
Fifth Edition, 2000
Home and Garden Bulletin No. 232