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Understanding Good Food Choices

Do you eat for good nutrition? It means more than simply eating an apple a day. Think in terms of your food choices throughout the day, from breakfast to bedtime. All foods, including your favorites, can fit into a healthy eating plan.

Graphic of plate and cup showing daily food size portions, choosemyplate.gov.

Good Nutrition Basics

Remember these four key points, which are the basics of good nutrition:

  • Balance. Eat a mix of different types of food. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Then fill your plate with one quarter protein and one quarter whole grains.

  • Variety. Choose a wide range of foods of different colors.

  • Flexibility. Find an eating plan that fits your schedule and tastes.

  • Moderation. Avoid too much of any one food.

What’s in a Word?

When reading food labels, it helps to know what words stand for. The terms are based on one serving size.

If a label says . . .

It means . . .

Low calorie

40 calories or fewer

Fat free

Less than 1/2 g fat

Low fat

3 g or less fat

Cholesterol free

Less than 2 mg cholesterol and 2 g or less saturated fat

Low cholesterol

20 mg or less cholesterol and 2 g or less saturated fat

Sodium free

Less than 5 mg sodium

Low sodium

140 mg or less sodium

High fiber

5 g or more fiber

 

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