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Chapter: Nutrition and Diet Therapy: Planning a Healthy Diet

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Planning a Healthy Diet

The statement “eat a balanced diet” has been repeated so often that its importance may be overlooked.

PLANNING A HEALTHY DIET

 

The statement “eat a balanced diet” has been repeated so often that its impor-tance may be overlooked. The value of this statement is so great, however, that it deserves serious consideration by people of all ages. A balanced diet includes all six classes of nutrients and calories in amounts that preserve and promote good health.

Daily review of the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) and the Rec-ommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) would provide enough information to plan balanced diets. However, ordinary meal planning would be cumber-some and time consuming if that table had to be consulted each time a meal was planned. Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (USDHHS) developed a simple system to help with the selection of healthful diets. It is called the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. In addition, MyPyramid was released in 2005 by the USDA as an outline for daily food choices based on the Dietary Guidelines.

 

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