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Dietary Guidelines Diet

Dietary Guidelines Diet


The Dietary Guidelines, developed by the Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, represent the best, most current advice for healthy Americans two years and older. They reflect the recommendations for health and nutrition experts, who agree enough is known about the effect of diet on health to encourage certain eating practices. The seven Dietary Guidelines objectives are:

1. Eat a variety of foods.
2. Maintain a healthy weight.
3. Choose a diet low in fat, saturated fat, and cholestrol.
4. Choose a diet with plenty of vegetables, fruits, and grain products.
5. Use sugars only in moderation.
6. Use salt and other forms of sodium only in moderation.
7. If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation.

These dietary recommendations were suggested for all normal healthy children and adults to help reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, stroke and certain forms of cancer. The diet stresses foods in a natural, unrefined state as much as possible with fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables preferred.

The composition of the Dietary Guidelines diet is targeted at:

10-20% protein55-60% carbohydrates
Less than 30% fat 10% simple sugars
10% mono-unsaturatedLess than 300 mg of cholestrol
10% polyunsaturated2-4 grams of sodium
10% saturated15-20 grams of fiber

In order to achieve these target values, lower fat meat and dairy products should be used and fried foods, condiments and high-fat desserts and snack foods should be limited. This diet will provide adequate levels of vitamins and minerals if the foods used are not highly processed. Certain target groups such as women of child bearing age may have to include an additional source of iron-rich food each day, and adolescents and post-menopausal women may need to increase their calcium-rich food consumption.

Sample Menu

Menu for One day

1/2 grapefruit
1 slice whole wheat bread (toasted)
1 egg (poached)
1 teaspoon margarine or butter
3/4 cup all bran cereal
1 cup skim milk or milk - 2% fat
10 whole, shelled, unsalted almonds
Hot, noncaloric beverage

1/2 cup tomato juice
1/3 cup cooked sweet corn
2 ounces sliced turkey breast
1/2 cup steamed zucchini
2 slices whole wheat bread
1 apple
2 teaspoons low-fat mayonnaise

1 cup vegetable soup
3 ounces broiled halibut
1/2 cup steamed broccoli
1 cup salad: romaine or Boston lettuce; sliced carrots, cucumbers, mushrooms, bell pepper, celery
2 teaspoons oil and vinegar dressing
1 slice whole wheat bread
1 teaspoon margarine or butter (optional)
1 baked potato
1 banana
1 cup skim milk or milk - 2% fat
Hot, noncaloric beverage

Total Calories For The Day: 1,620 - optional margarine or butter included

Nutrient Content:


Food Exchange List

Bread and Cereal Exchange List: 6 - 11 servings/day


Whole wheat breadCereals
LentilWhite bread (enriched)
Sweet potatoBeans (dried)
Green peas


Potato - french friedSugarcoated cereals
Refined breadsRefined cereals
Refined pastas

Vegetable Exchange List: 3 - 5 servings/day

Fresh, frozen, canned vegetables, both whole and juices


Fruit Exchange List: 2 - 4 servings/day

Fresh, frozen and canned fruits, both whole and juice

Canned fruits in syrup pack

Milk Exchange List: 2 - 3 servings/day


Skim milkEvaporated skim milk
Milk - 2% fatYogurt - lowfat plain or yogurt - nonfat plain

Whole milk - fresh or products made from whole milk, such as ice cream

Meat and Meat Substitute Exchange List: 2 - 3 servings/day


Any lean meatEgg (limit egg yolk to 3 to 4 per week)
PoultryLow fat cheeses such as:
FishCottage cheese - 2% fat
ShellfishMozzarella - part skim

Luncheon meat
Fatty cheeses, such as cream cheese

Fat Exchange List: as needed; moderation advised

Enriched margarine        
Polyunsaturated salad oils such as:
safflower oil
corn oil
soybean oil

Saturated fats, such as lard
Saturated oils, such as coconut oil

Note: Include six to eight cups of fluids, such as water, per day.


U.S. Dietary Goals. U.S. Government Printing Office, Wash, DC, 1977.


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