The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) MyPlate illustrates how to incorporate five food groups – fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy and protein foods – to help create a balanced diet.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 recommend 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day for adult women and 2,000 to 3,200 calories per day for adult men, depending on a variety of factors, including age, gender, weight and physical activity level. Your own daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.*
*The information presented is neither a diet plan nor a substitute for personal health advice from your doctor. These tips are not affiliated with any health program. The MyPlate program is developed by USDA. USDA does not endorse any products, services or organizations.
Your Daily Goals
Today's dietary guidelines refer to your overall pattern of eating. For instance, the guideline for adults to consume between 20% and 35% of calories from fat applies to your calorie intake for the whole day, not from a single meal or ingredient. So, if your goal is to consume no more than 30% of calories from fat and you went over that at breakfast, it's OK. Just balance it out with a lower-fat lunch or dinner. Keep an eye on your overall daily intake, and you’ll maintain balance.
If you’re balancing calories, small steps can add up to real savings while enjoying foods and beverages. Love our fries? Try a small order of French fries instead of a medium. For variety, consider your choices such as a side salad, apple slices or French fries.
Variety keeps things interesting
Our bodies gather different nutrients from different foods. So change things up! If you usually have a Big Mac for lunch, try a Premium Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken next time. Substitute Apple Slices for the fries. Order milk one day, orange juice the next. Try a Fruit ‘N Yogurt Parfait for breakfast. Since 2004, McDonald’s has been an active member of Produce for Better Health Foundation, working together to raise awareness about the importance of eating more fruits and vegetables.