New federal guidelines have simplified what families should consider when making healthy food choices. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, released on January 31, 2011, emphasize three major goals for Americans:
- Balance calories with physical activity to manage weight
- Consume more of certain foods and nutrients such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat-dairy products, and seafood
- Consume fewer foods with sodium (salt), saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars and refined grains
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 were a joint effort, prepared by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Even simpler, focus on eating more fruit and vegetables. Sue Zbornik, MS RD LD suggests filling half your plate with vegetables at each meal and choosing fruit for snacks more often. In terms of health benefits, fruit and vegetables are very effective at countering oxidative stress and inflammation, the primary risk factors for many types of chronic disease.