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Useful Tools > USDA Food Guidelines

According to the USDA, a healthy diet is a balanced diet. In its new recommendation, the USDA stresses that one size does not necessarily fit all. Realize that dietary needs are different based on age, gender, activity level, weight, and for pregnant women. 

new_food_pyramid.gif

The USDA recently decided to do away with the food pyramid and has instead adopted a graphic entitled MyPlate to help consumers better understand how much of each food group they should be eating.


Fruits

Fruits should consist of fresh or frozen fruits, such as apples, bananas, cherries, any berries, etc.. Try to avoid canned fruits as they are often canned in sugary syrup. You can also count 100% natural fruit juice as part of your daily fruit intake – just ensure the juice has no added sugars. Below are the daily recommendations for fruit intake:


Children                                 

2-3 years old

1 cup**

 

4-8 years old

1 to 1 ½ cups

 

 

 

Girls

9-13 years old

1 ½ cups

 

14-18 years old

2 cups

 

 

 

Boys

9-13 years old

1 ½ cups

 

14-18 years old

2 cups

 

 

 

Women

19-30 years old

2 cups

 

31-50 years old

1 ½ cups

 

51+ years

1 ½ cups

 

 

 

Men

19-30 years old

2 cups

 

31-50 years old

2 cups

 

51+ years old

2 cups

*These amounts are appropriate for individuals who get less than 30 minutes per day of moderate physical activity, beyond normal daily activities. Those who are more physically active may be able to consume more while staying within calorie needs. 


Vegetables

Vegetables should consist of dark green leafy vegetables, red and orange vegetables, starchy vegetables, beans and peas, and others. Try to consume fresh or frozen veggies, as canned vegetables often have high sodium levels. Below are the daily recommendations for vegetable intake:


Children                                 

2-3 years old

1 cup**

 

4-8 years old

1 ½ cups

 

 

 

Girls

9-13 years old

2 cups

 

14-18 years old

2 ½ cups

 

 

 

Boys

9-13 years old

2 ½ cups

 

14-18 years old

3 cups

 

 

 

Women

19-30 years old

2 ½ cups

 

31-50 years old

2 ½ cups

 

51+ years

2 cups

 

 

 

Men

19-30 years old

3 cups

 

31-50 years old

3 cups

 

51+ years old

2 ½ cups

*These amounts are appropriate for individuals who get less than 30 minutes per day of moderate physical activity, beyond normal daily activities. Those who are more physically active may be able to consume more while staying within calorie needs. 


Grains

Grains consist of both whole and refined grains. Refined grains are those processed grains (or “white” grains). The USDA recommends a mix of half and half, but FITTODO recommends cutting our refined carbohydrates altogether and sticking to whole grain foods for optimal health benefits. Below are the daily recommendations for grain intake:


Children                                 

2-3 years old

3 ounce equivalents

 

4-8 years old

5 ounce equivalents

 

 

 

Girls

9-13 years old

5 ounce equivalents

 

14-18 years old

6 ounce equivalents

 

 

 

Boys

9-13 years old

6 ounce equivalents

 

14-18 years old

8 ounce equivalents

 

 

 

Women

19-30 years old

6 ounce equivalents

 

31-50 years old

6 ounce equivalents

 

51+ years

5 ounce equivalents

 

 

 

Men

19-30 years old

8 ounce equivalents

 

31-50 years old

7 ounce equivalents

 

51+ years old

6 ounce equivalents

*These amounts are appropriate for individuals who get less than 30 minutes per day of moderate physical activity, beyond normal daily activities. Those who are more physically active may be able to consume more while staying within calorie needs. 


Protein

Protein should consist of meats (preferable lean meats such as poultry and fish), beans, nuts and seeds, eggs, and soy products.  Below are the daily recommendations for protein intake:


Children                                 

2-3 years old

2 ounce equivalents

 

4-8 years old

4 ounce equivalents

 

 

 

Girls

9-13 years old

5 ounce equivalents

 

14-18 years old

5 ounce equivalents

 

 

 

Boys

9-13 years old

5 ounce equivalents

 

14-18 years old

6 ounce equivalents

 

 

 

Women

19-30 years old

5 ½ ounce equivalents

 

31-50 years old

5 ounce equivalents

 

51+ years

5 ounce equivalents

 

 

 

Men

19-30 years old

6 ½ ounce equivalents

 

31-50 years old

6 ounce equivalents

 

51+ years old

5 ½ ounce equivalents

*These amounts are appropriate for individuals who get less than 30 minutes per day of moderate physical activity, beyond normal daily activities. Those who are more physically active may be able to consume more while staying within calorie needs.

Dairy

Dairy products consist of milk, milk products, cheese, and yogurt. Try to consume low-fat dairy products for optimal health! Below are the daily recommendations for dairy intake:


Children                                 

2-3 years old

2 cups

 

4-8 years old

2 ½ cups

 

 

 

Girls

9-13 years old

3 cups

 

14-18 years old

3 cups

 

 

 

Boys

9-13 years old

3 cups

 

14-18 years old

3 cups

 

 

 

Women

19-30 years old

3 cups

 

31-50 years old

3 cups

 

51+ years

3 cups

 

 

 

Men

19-30 years old

3 cups

 

31-50 years old

3 cups

 

51+ years old

3 cups

*These amounts are appropriate for individuals who get less than 30 minutes per day of moderate physical activity, beyond normal daily activities. Those who are more physically active may be able to consume more while staying within calorie needs. 

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