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Dietary Guidelines for Good Health

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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.
  • Reduce calories from saturated fats to less than 10% of total calories by replacing them with unsaturated fats: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.
  • Eat less than 300 mg a day of dietary cholesterol.
  • Limit trans fats, which are in partially hydrogenated oils and other solid fats.
  • Reduce the intake of calories from solid fats and added sugar.
  • Limit foods that contain refined grains, especially refined grain foods that contain solid fats, added sugars, and sodium.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink it in moderation—up to one drink a day for women and two drinks a day for men.

Healthy eating patterns

  • Choose a type of eating that gives you enough nutrition but not too many calories. Examples include the actionset.gif DASH diet, Mediterranean-style eating, and vegetarian.
  • Remember to count the calories in what you drink.
  • To reduce the risk of foodborne illness, follow food safety recommendations when preparing and eating foods.
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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: January 24, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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