What is a healthy diet?

A healthy eating pattern is one that provides enough of each essential nutrient from nutrient-dense foods, contains a variety of foods from all of the basic food groups, and focuses on balancing calories consumed with calories expended to help you achieve and sustain a healthy weight. This eating pattern limits intake of solid fats, sugar, salt (sodium) and alcohol.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans consumer pamphlet, Let's Eat For the Health of It (link is external) (PDF | 968KB), provides guidance for creating a healthy eating pattern to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis. Go to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (link is external) for more information.

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