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Healthy Eating

New U.S. Dietary Guidelines to Achieve a Healthier You

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With the constant barrage of advertisements for the latest fad diets, many college women may find themselves unsure of the best way to achieve and maintain a healthy weight -- one of the most important things you can do for your health today and in the future. Poor nutrition and lack of physical activity is the 2nd leading cause of preventable death in our country. To help Americans address these concerns, the Federal government released, in 2005, new dietary guidelines to promote good health and to reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

One of the most important messages is that a balanced diet combined with exercise is the cornerstone of weight management. Depending on a woman's weight goals, thirty to ninety minutes of moderate physical activity are encouraged daily. To find out what your weight should be, calculate your body mass index using this tool

A recipe for good health includes consuming on average (for women) a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet including at least two cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables, three ounces of whole-grain products, and three cups of low-fat or fat-free milk or equivalent dairy products. Fats are an essential element of a healthy diet, but should not exceed 20-35% of total calories and saturated and trans fat should be avoided. Ideally, choose fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains as often as possible and limit salt consumption to less than one teaspoon per day.

The Guidelines also recommend that those who choose to drink alcoholic beverages should do so sensibly and in moderation--defined as the consumption of up to one drink per day for women. The guidelines emphasize that alcoholic beverages should not be consumed by some people including those who experience difficulty restricting their alcohol intake, women of childbearing age who may become pregnant, and pregnant or lactating women.

Keeping these guidelines in mind, achieve nutritional goals by finding a balance between the food you eat and your physical activity levels. Be a savvy health consumer. Read nutritional labels and purchase natural foods as opposed to those that are refined or processed which may be high in sugar or salt. For more information about food choices and to pick up some new ideas on physical activity for a healthier you, visit

This website is an information resource center and does not provide medical advice.
Information from website should not be a substitute
for medical advice from a health care professional.