Monday, May 16, 2016

A Closer Look Inside Healthy Eating Patterns

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The following sections describe a healthy eating pattern and how following such a pattern can help people meet the Guidelines and its Key Recommendations. Throughout, it uses the Healthy U.S.-Style Eating Pattern as an example to illustrate the specific amounts and limits for food groups and other dietary components that make up healthy eating patterns. The Healthy U.S.-Style Eating Pattern is one of three USDA Food Patterns and is based on the types and proportions of foods Americans typically consume, but in nutrient-dense forms and appropriate amounts. Because calorie needs vary based on age, sex, height, weight, and level of physical activity (see Appendix 2. Estimated Calorie Needs per Day, by Age, Sex, and Physical Activity Level), the pattern has been provided at 12 different calorie levels (see Appendix 3. USDA Food Patterns: Healthy U.S.-Style Eating Pattern). The 2,000-calorie level of the Pattern is shown in Table 1-1.
The Healthy U.S.-Style Eating Pattern is the same as the primary USDA Food Patterns of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines. Two additional USDA Food Patterns—the Healthy Mediterranean-Style Eating Pattern and the Healthy Vegetarian Eating Pattern—are found at the end of this chapter and reflect other styles of eating (see Appendix 4. USDA Food Patterns: Healthy Mediterranean-Style Eating Pattern and Appendix 5. USDA Food Patterns: Healthy Vegetarian Eating Pattern). These three patterns are examples of healthy eating patterns that can be adapted based on cultural and personal preferences. The USDA Food Patterns also can be used as guides to plan and serve meals not only for the individual and household but in a variety of other settings, including schools, worksites, and other community settings.

Table 1-1.Healthy U.S.-Style Eating Pattern at the 2,000-Calorie Level, With Daily or Weekly Amounts From Food Groups, Subgroups, and Components

Food GroupaAmountb in the
2,000-Calorie-Level Pattern
Vegetables2½ c-eq/day
Dark green1½ c-eq/wk
Red and orange5½ c-eq/wk
Legumes (beans and peas)1½ c-eq/wk
Starchy5 c-eq/wk
Other4 c-eq/wk
Fruits2 c-eq/day
Grains6 oz-eq/day
Whole grains≥ 3 oz-eq/day
Refined grains≤ 3 oz-eq/day
Dairy3 c-eq/day
Protein Foods5½ oz-eq/day
Seafood8 oz-eq/wk
Meats, poultry, eggs26 oz-eq/wk
Nuts, seeds, soy products5 oz-eq/wk
Oils27 g/day
Limit on Calories for Other Uses (% of calories)c270 kcal/day (14%)
a Definitions for each food group and subgroup are provided throughout the chapter and are compiled in Appendix 3.
b Food group amounts shown in cup-(c) or ounce-(oz) equivalents (eq). Oils are shown in grams (g). Quantity equivalents for each food group are defined in Appendix 3. Amounts will vary for those who need less than 2,000 or more than 2,000 calories per day. See Appendix 3 for all 12 calorie levels of the pattern.
c Assumes food choices to meet food group recommendations are in nutrient-dense forms. Calories from added sugars, added refined starches, solid fats, alcohol, and/or to eat more than the recommended amount of nutrient-dense foods are accounted for under this category.
Note: The total eating pattern should not exceed Dietary Guidelines limits for intake of calories from added sugars and saturated fats and alcohol and should be within the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges for calories from protein, carbohydrate, and total fats. Most calorie patterns do not have enough calories available after meeting food group needs to consume 10 percent of calories from added sugars and 10 percent of calories from saturated fats and still stay within calorie limits. Values are rounded.
The Healthy U.S.-Style Eating Pattern is designed to meet the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) and Adequate Intakes for essential nutrients, as well as Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges (AMDR) set by the Food and Nutrition Board of the IOM. This eating pattern also conforms to limits set by the IOM or Dietary Guidelines for other nutrients or food components (see Appendix 6. Glossary of Terms and Appendix 7. Nutritional Goals for Age-Sex Groups Based on Dietary Reference Intakes and Dietary Guidelines Recommendations). Nutritional goals for almost all nutrients are met (see Appendix 3 for additional information)

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