2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines

"The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines focuses on the big picture with recommendations to help Americans make choices that add up to an overall healthy eating pattern. To build a healthy eating pattern, combine healthy choices from across all food groups—while paying attention to calorie limits, too."  Source: www.Health.gov

The 5 Guidelines:

"Guideline 1: Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan. All food and beverage choices matter. Choose a healthy eating pattern at an appropriate calorie level to help achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, support nutrient adequacy, and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

Additional detail for Guideline 1: Follow a healthy eating pattern over time to help support a healthy body weight and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

A healthy eating pattern includes: fruits, vegetables, protein, dairy, grains, oils.

A healthy eating pattern limits: Saturated fats and trans fats, added sugars, sodium.

Guideline 2: Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount. To meet nutrient needs within calorie limits, choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods across and within all food groups in recommended amounts.

Additional detail for Guideline 2: Choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods from each food group in recommended amounts.

Example meal: Chicken Salad, with a slice of bread and a glass of milk

Vegetables: Lettuce and celery
Fruits: Apples and grapes
Protein: Chicken breast and unsalted walnuts
Grains: Whole-grain bread
Dairy: Fat-free milk
Oils: Mayonnaise

Guideline 3: Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake. Consume an eating pattern low in added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium. Cut back on foods and beverages higher in these components to amounts that fit within healthy eating patterns.

Additional detail for Guideline 3: Consume an eating pattern low in added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium.

Example sources of:

Saturated fats: Ice cream sundae and cheeseburger
Added sugars: Regular soda and chocolate chip muffin
Sodium: Pepperoni pizza and cold-cut sub

Guideline 4: Shift to healthier food and beverage choices. Choose nutrient-dense foods and beverages across and within all food groups in place of less healthy choices. Consider cultural and personal preferences to make these shifts easier to accomplish and maintain.

Additional detail for Guideline 4: Replace typical food and beverages choices with more nutrient-dense options. Be sure to consider personal preferences to maintain shifts overtime.


Meal A: Pasta with cream sauce, shift to Meal B: Pasta with oil-based sauce and zucchini, peppers, broccoli, carrots, and parmesan cheese.

Guideline 5: Support healthy eating patterns for all. Everyone has a role in helping to create and support healthy eating patterns in multiple settings nationwide, from home to school to work to communities.

Additional detail for Guideline 5: Everyone has a role in helping to create and support healthy eating patterns in places where we learn, work, live, and play."

Key Recommendations:

"Key Recommendations that are quantitative are provided for several components of the diet that should be limited. These components are of particular public health concern in the United States, and the specified limits can help individuals achieve healthy eating patterns within calorie limits:

Consume less than 10 percent per day of calories from added sugars

Consume less than 10 percent per day of calories from saturated fats

Consume less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day of sodium

If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation - up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men - and only by adults of legal drinking age."  Source: www.Health.gov


Note on the Relationship Between Diet and Physical Activity:

"In tandem with the recommendations above, Americans of all ages—children, adolescents, adults, and older adults—should meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans to help promote health and reduce the risk of chronic disease. Americans should aim to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. The relationship between diet and physical activity contributes to calorie balance and managing body weight. As such, the Dietary Guidelines includes a Key Recommendation to: Meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans"  Source: www.Health.gov/paguidelines

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Food Additives Resources

Got questions?

Get answers about food additives and ingredients.

Food and Drug Administration fda.gov

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) fda.gov/Food  5100 Paint Branch Parkway College Park, MD 20740-3835

Color Additives Information fda.gov Color Additives 

Toll free information line: 1-888-SAFEFOOD (723-3366)

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Food Safety and Inspection Service fsis.usda.gov Food Safety Education Staff 1400 Independence Ave., SW Room 2932-S

Washington, DC 20250-3700

Food Additives Information usda.gov Fact Sheets on Additives

Meat and Poultry Hotline: 1-800-535-4555

TTY: 1-800-256-7072

Email: fsis@usda.gov

Food and Nutrition Information Center (FNIC)

USDA Ag Research Service

10301 Baltimore Ave.

Beltsville, MD 20705-2351


Email: fnic@nal.usda.gov

International Food Information Council Foundation (IFIC) IFIC

1100 Connecticut Ave., NW Suite 430

Washington, DC 20036

202-296-6540                Email: foodinfo@ific.org

American Dietetic Association (ADA) ADA

216 W. Jackson Blvd. Chicago, IL 60606-6995


The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) FAAN

11781 Lee Jackson Hwy. Suite 160 Fairfax, VA 22033 1-800-929-4040

Email: faan@foodallergy.org

Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) IFT

525 West Van Buren Suite 1000 Chicago, IL 60607 1-800-IFT-FOOD (438-3663)