Dietary Guidelines

Use these guidelines to insure long, healthy lives.

Calorie Needs

The amount of calories needed depends on age, gender, activity level, and whether your trying to maintain or gain weight. Health risks refer to the likelihood of developing health problems. A diet is an eating plan. A nutrient-dense food is a food that provides high amounts of vitamins and minerals for relatively few calories.

Maintaining Healthy Weight

A risk factor is a condition that increases your chances of developing a problem. Health problems related to too much body fat include: diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Health risks for being underweight are weakened immune system and anemia. Two suggestions for losing weight are small decreases in food and beverages.

Active Living

Active living helps you control your weight strengthen your heart and lungs. A teen should get 60 minutes or more physical activity. Guidelines for fitting physical activity into your schedule are getting involved in a team or individual sport and using the stairs instead of the elevator.

Importance of Whole grains, Fruits, and Vegetables

These foods are health because they are nutrient rich, cholesterol free, and low in fats and calories. Health benefits of these foods are protection against heart disease and cancer. Three ways you could include these foods in your diet are enjoying fruits and vegetables with meals, drink yogurt smoothies for snacks, and eating dry beans or peas.

Limit Fats and Cholesterol

Two type of unhealthy fats that raise cholesterol is saturated and trans fats. Disease that can develop from high fat diet is heart disease. Guidelines to follow are eating as few food containing trans fats as possible, choose mostly foods prepared with little or no fat, and choose fewer solid fats.


Foods with added sugars are high in calories but often low in vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, and protein. Foods with natural sugars are usually present in nutrient-rich fruit and milk. You should limit your sugar intake because too much leads to tooth decay.

Reducing Sodium and Increasing Potassium

Sodium benefits the body by helping control body fluids; although excess sodium is linked to high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke. The function of potassium is to help counteract sodium's effects on blood pressure.

Alcohol and Food Safety

Three reasons teens should avoid alcohol is because it could affect, or influence your judgement. Heavy drinking increases chances of accidents or injuries. Also, drinking puts others at risk. Food safety is an important part of the Dietary Guidelines because when it is not properly handled, stored, and prepared, it can cause foodborne illness.