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Americans Get Diet Road Map to Health

New U.S. Diet Guidelines Based on Common Sense, Science

New Diet Guidelines: A Recipe for Weight Loss and Health continued...

3. To keep your weight the same, don't eat or drink more calories than you burn. Maintain a balance of calories -- what you eat to those you burn. To lose weight over time, eat a little less -- and exercise a little more -- every day.

4. Get regular exercise. It's good for your body and good for your mind:

  • Get at least 30 minutes of physical activity most days of the week.
  • For maximum benefit, most people can get vigorous or longer-duration exercise.
  • To lose weight, get about 60 minutes of moderate or vigorous exercise most days of the week. Don't offset this by eating more.
  • To keep weight off, get 60 to 90 minutes of moderate-intensity physical exercise most days. Examples include exercises such as walking briskly, swimming recreationally, or bicycling 5-9 mph on level terrain.

5. Recommended foods:

  • Get 2 cups of fruit every day
  • Get 2.5 cups of vegetables every day
  • Eat a variety of vegetables
  • Get 3 ounces or more of whole-grain foods every day
  • Get 3 cups of fat-free or low-fat dairy foods every day

6. Avoid fats:

  • Fewer than 10% of your calories should come from saturated fats.
  • Keep cholesterol consumption below 300 milligrams per day.
  • Avoid trans fats as much as you possibly can.
  • The fats you do eat should mostly come from fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. Keep total fats between 20% to 35% of your total calories.

7. Carbs aren't all bad. You should:

  • Choose fiber-rich fruits and vegetables and whole grains.
  • Choose foods with as little added sugars or sweeteners as possible.
  • Avoid sugary and starchy foods and beverages.

8. Avoid salt, increase potassium:

  • Get less than 1 teaspoon of salt a day. Note: Most of the salt we eat comes from processed foods.
  • Eat lots of potassium-rich fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, prunes, raisins, or potatoes with skins.

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