Help is out there! Every five years a panel of the nation's top nutrition scientists review the latest nutrition and health research and decide the key elements of a diet, which will meet nutrient needs, promote health, reduce chronic disease risk, and support active lives. Their findings are then used to update the dietary recommendations for Americans, develop new nutrition education materials and change nutrition legislation and policies.
The latest recommendations to come out are the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. These guidelines have been put into an educational tool called the MyPlate Food Guidance System, which helps translate them into messages that are easy to understand and put into practice. To view the full guidelines you can go to www.health.gov and www.ChooseMyPlate.gov.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americas, 2010 take into consideration the strong link between nutrition and the following medical conditions:
- High cholesterol
- Heart disease
- Type II Diabetes
- High blood pressure
Thus, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 recommend a healthy, balanced diet that's high in fruits, vegetables, legumes (beans, peas, and lentils), fish and poultry because it's been shown to protect against and manage all of these conditions.
Food groups according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture:
We often discuss food in terms of food groups, which is a way for us to classify the foods we eat based on their nutrient properties.
This visual from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, shows five main food groups: