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Food and Nutrition Information Center

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This tool will calculate daily nutrient recommendations based on the Dietary Reference Intakes.

Start Simple with MyPlate: Food Planning during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Tips on what to buy, how much to buy, and how to prepare what you need

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Historical Dietary Guidance Digital Collection

This collection allows users to search over 1,200 federal dietary guidance and nutrition education publications.

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Activities, Tools and Curriculum for teaching nutrition and food safety

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USDA Food and Nutrient Data System for Researchers and Consumers

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Is there a law that requires food labels to list ingredients that commonly cause food allergies?

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004, which went into effect in January 2006, requires that food labels identify in plain English if the product contains any of the eight major food allergens: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat and soybeans.

I would like to gain weight. How can I do this in a healthy manner?

Losing, gaining or staying at the same weight all depend on how many calories you eat and how many calories your body uses over time. If you eat more calories than you use, you will gain weight; conversely, if you eat fewer calories than you use, you will lose weight. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Healthy Weight Gain webpage provides some information and advice on how to gain weight and remain healthy.

I want to lose a pound of weight. How many calories do I need to burn?

 You need to burn 3,500 calories more than you take in to lose one pound of weight. This translates into a reduction of 500 calories per day to lose one pound in a week, or a reduction of 1,000 calories per day to lose two pounds in a week. A calorie reduction can be achieved by either eating fewer calories or burning more calories through physical activity. A combination of both is best. See CDC's Balancing Caloriesto learn more.

I am on a diet to lose weight. Do I still need to exercise?

 When you are on a diet to reach a healthier weight, physical activity may support your weight loss efforts by helping you achieve an appropriate calorie balance. The CDC's Balancing Calories page can help you find your own calorie balance. In addition, individuals who exercise regularly may be less likely to regain the weight they lost.

These resources provide more information about physical activity:

How can I get enough nutrients without consuming too many calories?

 The Dietary Guidelines for Americansencourages you to choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods and beverages to help achieve recommended nutrient intakes. Foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean proteins can help you get the nutrients you need without excess calories.You can avoid excess calories by limiting your consumption of foods high in added sugars and solid fats, and alcoholic beverages; these provide calories but are poor sources of essential nutrients.

Pages

The Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC) is a leader in online global nutrition information. Located at the National Agricultural Library (NAL) of the United States Department of Agriculture, the FNIC website contains over 2500 links to current and reliable nutrition information.

The Food and Agriculture Act of 1977 (Farm Bill) established the Food and Nutrition Information and Education Resources Center (later known as the Food and Nutrition Information Center, or FNIC) as a permanent entity within NAL. (see p.26 of PDF).

FNIC strives to serve the professional community (including educators, health professionals and researchers) by providing access to a wide range of trustworthy food and nutrition resources from both government and non-government sources. The FNIC website provides information about food and human nutrition. The materials found on this website are not intended to be used for the diagnosis or treatment of a health problem or as a substitute for consulting a licensed health professional.

To learn more about FNIC's content and linking policy, please review the webmaster section of the Frequently Asked Questions.  

The use of trade, firm, or corporation names in this website (or in website pages) is for the information and convenience of the reader. Such use does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by USDA or the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. Likewise, some databases available on the FNIC website include resources from "non-government entities." Inclusion of these materials in a database does not constitute endorsement or recommendation by FNIC or the U.S. Government.

If you have a question related to food and nutrition please use the Ask a Question form. For questions about the FNIC website email: FNIC@ars.usda.gov

In person: FNIC Specialists can assist you Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. EST at the National Agricultural Library (NAL) in Beltsville, Maryland.

By phone: Call (301) 504-5414 to talk to an Information Specialist

By mail:

Food and Nutrition Information Center

USDA ARS National Agricultural Library

10301 Baltimore Avenue,

Beltsville, MD 20705-2351

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