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Following a healthy eating pattern may help you to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease, and live a long and productive life. It is important to follow a healthy eating pattern at an appropriate calorie level for your body. Your nutritional needs should be met primarily through food by choosing a variety of nutrient-rich foods.
Reading food labels
Aim to eat 2 cup-equivalents of fresh, canned (in natural juice), or frozen fruits each day. Examples of 1 cup-equivalent of fruit include 1 small apple, 8 large strawberries, 1 cup canned fruit, ½ cup dried fruit, or 1 cup 100% juice.
Aim to eat 2½–3 cup-equivalents of fresh and frozen vegetables each day, including different varieties and colors. Examples of 1 cup-equivalent of vegetables include 2 medium carrots, 2 cups raw, leafy greens, 1 cup chopped vegetable (raw or cooked), or 1 medium baked potato.
Aim to eat 6 ounce-equivalents of whole grains each day. Examples of 1 ounce-equivalent of grains include 1 slice of bread, 1 cup ready-to-eat cereal, 3 cups popcorn, or ½ cup cooked rice, pasta, or cereal.
Meats and other proteins
Aim to eat 3 cup-equivalents of fat-free or low-fat dairy each day. Examples of 1 cup-equivalent of dairy include 1 cup (240 mL) milk, 8 ounces (250 g) yogurt, 1½ ounces (44 g) natural cheese, or 1 cup (240 mL) fortified soy milk.
Fats and oils
Seasoning and other foods
This information is based on general U.S. nutrition guidelines. For more information, visit choosemyplate.gov. Exact amounts may vary based on your nutrition needs.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider. Make sure you discuss any questions you have with your health care provider.
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