Nutrition basics

Eating a variety of foods gives your body the nutrition it needs to help protect against illness and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

How to eat

Food portion sizes
Portion sizes are important for staying a healthy weight. Use this chart to estimate your portions.

Foods that have protein
Protein builds tissues and helps strengthen muscles.

Getting enough iron in your diet
Iron is an essential mineral your body needs for energy. Most people get enough iron by eating the right amounts of iron-rich foods.

What is a regular diet?

A regular diet includes a variety of foods. A healthy, regular diet includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat dairy foods.

Vegetarian diet

Some people choose to eat mostly plant-based foods (grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds).

Cholesterol, fat and salt

Foods that may help lower your cholesterol level
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance found in the food you eat. Too much LDL (low density lipoprotein) or "bad" cholesterol causes health problems. Making changes to your diet can help lower your LDL cholesterol.

Understanding cooking fats and oils
With so many cooking fats and oils on the market choosing which one to use can be difficult. Which ones are the healthiest for you when used in moderation?

Understanding sodium and low-salt cooking
Many foods contain sodium naturally, but do not taste salty. Sodium causes your body to retain, or hold, more water. This increases the work of your heart as it pumps blood through your body.

More information

Choose My Plate

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