Make Every Bite Count with Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025
A Guide to Help Us Stay Healthy
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 provides advice on what to eat and drink to:
- Meet nutrient needs
- Promote health
- Help prevent chronic disease
This edition of the Dietary Guidelines is the first to provide guidance for healthy dietary patterns by life stage, from birth through older adulthood, including women who are pregnant or lactating.
There are four overarching Guidelines in the 2020-2025 edition:
- Follow a healthy dietary pattern at every life stage.
- Customize and enjoy nutrient-dense food and beverage choices to reflect personal preferences, cultural traditions, and budgetary considerations.
- Focus on meeting food group needs with nutrient-dense foods and beverages, and stay within calorie limits.
- Limit foods and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium, and limit alcoholic beverages.
There are Key Recommendations supporting the 4 Guidelines, including quantitative recommendations on limits that are based on the body of science reviewed. The Guidelines recommend:
- Limiting added sugars* to less than 10% of calories per day for ages 2 and older and to avoid added sugars for infants and toddlers;
- Limiting saturated fat to less than 10% of calories per day starting at age 2;
- Limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300mg per day (or even less if younger than 14);
- Limiting alcoholic beverages* (if consumed) to 2 drinks or less a day for men and 1 drink or less a day for women.
* The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025 recommend limiting intakes of added sugars and alcoholic beverages, but do not include changes to quantitative recommendations from the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for these two topics, because the new evidence reviewed since the 2015-2020 edition is not substantial enough to support changes to the quantitative recommendations for either added sugars or alcohol.
1. Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan:
A healthy eating pattern includes eating:
• Grains (make at least ½ whole grains)
• A variety of vegetables: include dark green, orange, and red vegetables, legumes, and starchy vegetables
• Fat- free or low fat dairy products
• A variety of protein foods: seafood, lean meats and poultry, legumes, soy products, eggs and nuts
A healthy eating pattern limits:
• Saturated fats
• Trans fats
• Added sugar
The Dietary Guidelines approach of providing a framework–not prescriptive details–ensures that its recommendations can “meet people where they are,” from personal preferences to cultural foodways, and including budgetary considerations. Choose a variety of nutrient dense foods within calorie limits. Make sure your choices include foods from all the food groups.
3. Focus on meeting food group needs with nutrient-dense foods and beverages, and stay within calorie limits.
Instead of sugar sweetened drinks
Try fresh fruit and vegetable juices
4. Limit foods and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium, and limit alcoholic beverages.
Replace less healthy choices with nutrient rich foods. Nutrient rich foods provide necessary nutrients with little or no added fat, sodium and sugar.
• Sugar: consume less than 10 percent of total calories per day. (50 grams is 10 percent for a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet)
• Saturated fats: consume less than 10 percent of calories per day
• Sodium: consume less than 2,300 milligrams per day
• Alcohol: in moderation. Up to 1 drinks per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men
Support healthy patterns for all:
All of us have a role in helping to create and support healthy eating patterns. This applies to different settings such as the home, work and communities in general. We can all play a role in order to achieve this goal.
In addition to these recommendations from The Dietary Guidelines, Americans are advised to follow the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. These guidelines encourage all ages to be more active. Any amount of physical activity has health benefits.
For children and adolescents ages 6-17 the guidelines recommend one hour or more of physical activity each day.
The guidelines for adults suggest adults do one of the following:
- 150 minutes each week of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity, like brisk walking or tennis; and
- 75 minutes each week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity, like jogging or swimming