Chapter 7: Healthy Eating
Fats and oils are part of a healthful diet, but the type of fat makes a difference to heart health, and the total amount of fat consumed is also important. High intake of saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol increases the risk of unhealthy blood lipid levels, which, in turn, may increase the risk of coronary heart disease. A high intake of fat (greater than 35 percent of calories) generally increases saturated fat intake and makes it more difficult to avoid consuming excess calories. A low intake of fats and oils (less than 20 percent of calories) increases the risk of inadequate intakes of vitamin E and of essential fatty acids and may contribute to unfavorable changes in high-density lipoprotein (HDL) blood cholesterol and triglycerides.
- Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids and less than 300 mg/day of cholesterol, and keep trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible.
- Keep total fat intake between 20 to 35 percent of calories, with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.
- When selecting and preparing meat, poultry, dry beans, and milk or milk products, make choices that are lean, low-fat, or fat-free.
- Limit intake of fats and oils high in saturated and/or trans fatty acids, and choose products low in such fats and oils.
Vitamins and Minerals
Daily Nutritional Goals for Age-Sex Groups Based on Dietary Reference Intakes and Dietary Guidelines Recommendations
of goal a
|Calorie level(s) assessed||2,000||2,400,
|Protein, % kcal||AMDR||10-35||10-35||10-35||10-35||10-35||10-35|
|Carbohydrate, % kcal||AMDR||45-65||45-65||45-65||45-65||45-65||45-65|
|Dietary fiber, g||14g/
|Added sugars, % kcal||DGA||<10%||<10%||<10%||<10%||<10%||<10%|
|Total fat, % kcal||AMDR||20-35||20-35||20-35||20-35||20-35||20-35|
|Saturated fat, % kcal||DGA||<10%||<10%||<10%||<10%||<10%||<10%|
|Linoleic acid, g||AI||12||17||12||17||11||14|
|Linolenic acid, g||AI||1.1||1.6||1.1||1.6||1.1||1.6|
|Vitamin A, mg RAE||RDA||700||900||700||900||700||900|
|Vitamin E, mg AT||RDA||15||15||15||15||15||15|
|Vitamin D, IU||RDA||600||600||600||600||600c||600c|
|Vitamin C, mg||RDA||75||90||75||90||75||90|
|Vitamin B6, mg||RDA||1.3||1.3||1.3||1.3||1.5||1.7|
|Vitamin B12, mcg||RDA||2.4||2.4||2.4||2.4||2.4||2.4|
|Vitamin K, mcg||AI||90||120||90||120||90||120|
|Folate, mcg DFE||RDA||400||400||400||400||400||400|
a RDA = Recommended Dietary Allowance, AI = Adequate Intake, UL = Tolerable Upper Intake Level, AMDR = Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range, DGA = 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines recommended limit; 14 g fiber per 1,000 kcal = basis for AI for fiber.
b Calcium RDA for males ages 71+ years is 1,200 mg.
c Vitamin D RDA for males and females ages 71+ years is 800 IU.
Source: Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes: The essential guide to nutrient requirements. Washington (DC): The National Academies Press; 2006.
Source: Institute of Medicine. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D. Washington (DC): The National Academies Press; 2010.
Getting enough water every day is important for your health. Healthy people meet their fluid needs by drinking when thirsty and drinking with meals. Most of your fluid needs are met through the water and beverages you drink. However, you can get some fluids through the foods that you eat. For example, broth soups and foods with high water content such as celery, tomatoes, or melons can contribute to fluid intake.
Water helps your body:
- Keep your temperature normal
- Lubricate and cushion joints
- Protect your spinal cord and other sensitive tissues
- Get rid of wastes through urination, perspiration, and bowel movements
Your body needs more water when you are:
- In hot climates
- More physically active
- Running a fever
- Having diarrhea or vomiting
If you think you are not getting enough water, these tips may help:
- Carry a water bottle for easy access when you are at work of running errands.
- Freeze some freezer safe water bottles. Take one with you for ice-cold water all day long.
- Choose water instead of sugar-sweetened beverages. This can also help with weight management. Substituting water for one 20-ounce sugar sweetened soda will save you about 240 calories.
- Choose water when eating out. Generally, you will save money and reduce calories.
- Add a wedge of lime or lemon to your water. This can help improve the taste and help you drink more water than you usually do.