Simplified Diet Manual – Dietary Guidelines

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) provide evidence-based food and beverage recommendations for Americans ages 2 and older. These recommendations aim to promote health, prevent chronic disease, and help people reach and maintain a healthy weight. A Federal Advisory Committee, which is composed of nutrition and medical researchers, academics, and practitioners, develops a report that includes current scientific and medical evidence in nutrition. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) uses information in the Advisory Report, along with public and federal agency comments, to jointly publish the DGA every 5 years. The DGA is developed for use by policymakers and health professionals, as well as communication with the general public, including businesses, schools, community groups, media, the food industry, and state and local governments.



The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (8th edition) was released in January 2016 and is available at www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines. (3) Healthy eating as a whole, versus singling out specific food and nutrients, is a focus of the DGA. This edition outlines how people can improve their overall eating patterns, the complete combination of foods and drinks in their diet, and physical activity patterns in five overarching guidelines:

  1. Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan. All food and beverage choices matter. Choose a healthy eating pattern at an appropriate calorie level to help achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, support nutrient adequacy, and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

  2. Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount. To meet nutrient needs within calorie limits, choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods across and within all food groups in recommended amounts.

  3. Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake. Consume an eating pattern low in added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium. Cut back on foods and beverages higher in these components to amounts that fit within healthy eating patterns.

  4. Shift to healthier food and beverage choices. Choose nutrient-dense foods and beverages across and within all food groups in place of less healthy choices. Consider cultural and personal preferences to make these shifts easier to accomplish and maintain.

  5. Support healthy eating patterns for all. Everyone has a role in helping to create and support healthy eating patterns in multiple settings nationwide, from home to school to work to communities.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) provide evidence-based food and beverage recommendations for Americans ages 2 and older. These recommendations aim to promote health, prevent chronic disease, and help people reach and maintain a healthy weight. A Federal Advisory Committee, which is composed of nutrition and medical researchers, academics, and practitioners, develops a report that includes current scientific and medical evidence in nutrition. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) uses information in the Advisory Report, along with public and federal agency comments, to jointly publish the DGA every 5 years. The DGA is developed for use by policymakers and health professionals, as well as communication with the general public, including businesses, schools, community groups, media, the food industry, and state and local governments.


The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (8th edition) was released in January 2016 and is available at www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines. (3) Healthy eating as a whole, versus singling out specific food and nutrients, is a focus of the DGA. This edition outlines how people can improve their overall eating patterns, the complete combination of foods and drinks in their diet, and physical activity patterns in five overarching guidelines:

  1. Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan. All food and beverage choices matter. Choose a healthy eating pattern at an appropriate calorie level to help achieve and maintain a healthy body weight, support nutrient adequacy, and reduce the risk of chronic disease.

  2. Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount. To meet nutrient needs within calorie limits, choose a variety of nutrient-dense foods across and within all food groups in recommended amounts.

  3. Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fats and reduce sodium intake. Consume an eating pattern low in added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium. Cut back on foods and beverages higher in these components to amounts that fit within healthy eating patterns.

  4. Shift to healthier food and beverage choices. Choose nutrient-dense foods and beverages across and within all food groups in place of less healthy choices. Consider cultural and personal preferences to make these shifts easier to accomplish and maintain.

  5. Support healthy eating patterns for all. Everyone has a role in helping to create and support healthy eating patterns in multiple settings nationwide, from home to school to work to communities.

For more information Contact the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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