These guidelines from the United States Department
of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Department of Health and Human
Services (HHS) are updated every 5 years to promote health and reduce risk for
major chronic diseases.
Key recommendations for the general public
include the following:1
Eat foods that supply the type of iron that is more easily absorbed by the body. Examples are fish, poultry, and meat. And eat foods that are other sources of iron, such as lentils, beans, cereals, and grains.
Eat foods that help the body absorb iron, such as foods rich in vitamin C.
Eat 8 to 12 ounces of seafood a week. Vary the types of seafood you eat.
Avoid mercury in fish by limiting white (albacore) tuna to 6 ounces a week and by not eating tilefish, shark, swordfish, and king mackerel.
If you are pregnant, take an iron supplement as recommended by your doctor.
For people 50 years and older:
Eat foods fortified with vitamin B12, such as fortified cereals, or take dietary supplements.
Foods to reduce
Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals-and choose the foods with lower numbers.
Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
Reduce daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams (mg). Further reduce daily salt intake to 1,500 mg if you are older than 50, or if you are any age and you are African American or you have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease.