Dietary Guidelines For Dummies

By: Jamie Castner

1. What do the Dietary Guidelines do for Americans?

  • A health risk is the likelihood of developing health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
  • Diet is everything you eat and drink.

2. Getting enough nutrients within your calorie needs

  • Four factors that determine dietary needs are:



-Activity Level

-Whether you are trying to loose or gain weight.

  • Nutrient-Dense Foods are foods that provide high amounts of vitamins and minerals for relatively few calories.

(Ex. Whole-grain, vegetables, fruits, low-fat & fat-free milk, milk products, lean meats, and beans)

3. How to maintain a healthy weight

  • A risk factor is a condition that increases your chances of developing a problem.
  • Health problems related to too much body fat are:


-Heart Disease

-High Blood Pressure


-Some types of cancer

  • Health risks for being underweight are:
-Doesn't have much body fat as an energy reserve

-More weak

-Trouble concentrating

-Some types of cancer

-Easily gets sick


-Weak bones

  • Two suggestions on loosing weight are:
-Make sure you don't take in more calories than you burn.

-Have at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day.

4. Suggestions for being physically active every day

  • Two ways that active living helps you:
-Controlling weight

-Strengthening heart and lungs

  • Teens should get at least 60 minutes of activity per day.
  • Two guidelines for including physical activity into your daily schedule are:
-Use the stairs instead of the elevator

-Get involved in a team or individual sport

5. Importance of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and milk

  • Two reasons they are healthy:
-They are nutrient-dense foods.

-That is where your potassium comes from.

  • Two health benefits for these foods are:
-These foods are nutrient rich, cholesterol free, and naturally low in fats and calories.

-They help protect against heart disease, cancer, and other health problems.

  • Two ways to include these foods in your diet are:
-Eat fruit instead of sugary dessert

-Drink fruit or vegetable juice with your meals or as a snack

6. How to limit fats and cholesterol

  • Two types of unhealthy fats that raise cholesterol are:
-Saturated fat

-Trans fat

  • Heart disease can develop from a high fat diet.
  • Guidelines to achieve moderate fat intake are:
-Keep saturated fats to less than 10% of your calories

-Eat as few foods containing trans fat as possible

-Limit cholesterol to less than 300 milligrams per day

-Choose mostly foods prepared with little or no fat

-Eat dairy foods that are mostly reduced-fat, low-fat, and fat-free

-Get most of your fat from fish, nuts, and healthy oils

-Buy lean meat and poultry. Remove skin from chicken and turkey. Trim excess fat from meat.

-Eat egg yolks and whole eggs in moderation. Use egg substitutes sometimes.

-Choose fewer solid fats, such as butter and stick margarine.

7. Be choosy about carbohydrates

  • Foods with natural sugar are:
-Nutrient-rich fruit


  • Foods with added sugar are:

-Soft drinks

  • You should limit your sugar intake because they could promote tooth decay.

8. Why reduce sodium and increase potassium?

  • Sodium helps control body fluids.
  • Diseases linked to excess sodium are:
-High blood pressure

-Heart attack


  • Potassium helps counteract sodium's effects on blood pressure.

9. Avoid Alcohol

  • Three reasons that teens should avoid alcohol are:
-Affect, or influence, your judgement, and that can lead to accidents and injuries.

-Heavy drinking also increases the chance of accidents, injuries, violence, emotional problems, dependency, and other problems.