E.A.T. EAT ACT THINK BLOG Eat, Act, Think for a Healthier Life
Vegetables Proteins Grains Fruits Water Dairy Sodium Sugar Oil

"Every time you eat is an opportunity to nourish your body"

Select one of the food groups to learn more

Fruits

Why?

Fruits provide dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin C, and folate. Most fruits are nutrient rich and low in calories. Eating more fruits and vegetables may reduce your risk of chronic disease and some cancers.

What?

Fruits can be fresh, frozen, canned, or dried. Canned, frozen, and dried fruits are often harvested during their peak, so the most nutrients are preserved. Especially when a fruit is off season, frozen, canned or dried are great options.
Include a variety of fruits (berries, melons, and other fruits) with meals and snacks. Fruits can be whole, cut-up, or in a smoothie.

How Much?

1 serving = 1 cup fruit or 100% fruit juice, 1/2 cup dried fruit

Daily Reccomendation of Fruits
Gender Age Amount
Women 19-30
31+
2 cups
1 1/2 cups
Men 19+ 2 cups

Vegetables

Why?

Vegetables provide dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and folate. Most vegetables, especially non-starchy vegetables, are low in calories and nutrient rich. Eating more fruits and vegetables may reduce your risk of chronic disease and some cancers.

What?

Vegetables can be fresh, frozen, canned, or dried/dehydrated. Canned, frozen, and dried vegetables are often harvested during their peak, so the most nutrients are preserved. Especially when a vegetable is off season, frozen, canned or dried are great options.
There are 5 subgroups within the vegetable food group: red and orange, starchy, dark green, beans and peas, and other. Eat a variety of vegetables from each subgroup every week.

How Much?

1 serving = 1 cup raw or cooked vegetables, 2 cups raw leafy greens

Daily Reccomendation of Vegetables
Gender Age Amount
Women 19-50
51+
2 1/2 cups
2 cups
Men 19-50
51+
3 cups
2 1/2 cups

Grains

Why?

Grains provide dietary fiber, B vitamins (folate, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin), iron, magnesium, and selenium. Eating more whole grains may contribute to better weight management and reduce your risk of chronic disease.

What?

Grains can be either whole or refined. Whole grains include the bran, germ and endosperm. If a grain is refined, the bran and germ have been removed. The label “enriched” means that B vitamins and iron have been added back in, but fiber is not added.
Whole grains include whole wheat, brown rice, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa, and others. Make half of the grain foods you eat whole grains.

How Much?

1 serving = 1 ounce (1 slice bread, 1 cup ready-to-eat cereal, 1/2 cup cooked rice/pasta/cereal)

Daily Reccomendation of Grains
Gender Age Amount
Women 19-30
31+
6 oz
5 oz
Men 19-30
31-50
51+
8 oz
7 oz
6 oz

Proteins

Why?

Protein foods are important sources of protein, B vitamins (B6, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin), vitamin E, iron, zinc, and magnesium. Some seafood also provide omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Eating lean protein contributes the building blocks for body tissues, such as blood, bones, cartilage, muscles, and skin.

What?

Protein foods include animal and plant sources, such as meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, nuts, and seeds. To have a healthy lifestyle, eat a variety of protein foods. Avoid protein sources high in saturated fats (fatty cuts of meat, hot dogs, bacon, and lunch meats) because they can increase risk for heart disease.

How Much?

1 serving = 1 ounce meat/poultry/fish, 1/4 cup cooked beans, 1 egg, 1 tbsp nut butter, 1/2 ounce nuts/seeds

Daily Reccomendation of Proteins
Gender Age Amount
Women 19-30
31+
5 1/2 oz
5 oz
Men 19-30
31-50
51+
6 1/2 oz
6 oz
5 1/2 oz

Dairy

Why?

Dairy foods provide protein, calcium, potassium, and vitamin D. Calcium and vitamin D are both critical for building bones and maintaining bone mass. Adequate intakes of both of these nutrients contribute to improved bone health and may reduce your risk of osteoporosis.

What?

Dairy foods include milk, cheese, yogurt, and other foods made from milk products. Choose dairy foods that are low-fat or fat-free. Cream cheese, cream, and butter are made from milk, but they are not considered dairy because they don’t retain their calcium content.
If you are lactose intolerant or allergic to milk, look for non-dairy alternatives, such as some beans and leafy greens that are high in calcium or rice/soy/almond/coconut milk, juices, or grains that are fortified with calcium.

How Much?

1 serving = 1 cup milk/yogurt/soymilk, 1 ½ ounces natural cheese, 2 ounces processed cheese

Daily Reccomendation of Dairy
Gender Age Amount
Women & Men 19+ 3 cups

Water

Why?

Water provides fluid that is important for maintaining body temperature, lubricating joints, protecting sensitive tissues, and eliminating waste through urine, sweat, and bowel movements.

What?

Fluid needs can be met with water, beverages, and fluid in food. Drinking water instead of sugar sweetened beverages provides for your body’s fluid needs without calories.

How Much?

Fluid needs are different for everyone. One indicator of whether you are getting enough water is the color of your urine. When you are hydrated, your urine should be a pale yellow color. Drinking water when you are thirsty and with meals will likely meet your fluid needs. You will need to drink more water if you are more active, live or work in hot conditions, or as you get older.

Adequate Intake of Water
Gender Age Amount
Women 19+ 9 cups
Men 19+ 13 cups

Oil

Why?

Oils are not a food group, but they provide essential fatty acids and vitamin E.

What?

There are two types of fats: saturated and unsaturated fats. Saturated fats, such as butter, are solid at room temperature and can increase risk for heart disease if eaten in excess. Unsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature, such as vegetable oils, and in moderate amounts can lower heart disease risk.
Oils are unsaturated fats that come from plants and some fish. Some foods that are naturally high in oil include nuts, olives, some fish, and avocados. Using oil instead of solid fats, provides the fatty acids we need without saturated fats.

How Much?

Consume unsaturated fats in moderate amounts by using oil in food preparation and cooking or eating foods that are high in oil.

Daily Allowance of Oils
Gender Age Amount
Women 19-30
31+
6 tsp
5 tsp
Men 19-30
31+
7 tsp
6 tsp

Added Sugar

Why to limit?

Added sugars increase calories without providing additional nutrients. Eating food and drinking beverages with too much added sugar can lead to weight gain and increased risk of chronic disease.

What?

Foods that contain added sugar include sugar sweetened beverages, sweet snacks and desserts, frozen treats, and candy. Check the Nutrition Facts label for the amount of added sugars or these common ingredient names: sugar, syrup, nectar, honey, molasses, and ingredients ending in –ose (fructose, lactose).

How Much?

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, less than 10% of daily calories should come from added sugars. The American Heart Association has recommended even less (in the table below). 4 grams sugar = 1 teaspoon

Daily Limit of Added Sugar
Gender Age Amount
Women 19+ 6 tsp
Men 19+ 9 tsp

Sodium

Why to limit?

Sodium chloride, also known as table salt, is used to enhance flavor and preserve foods. In the body, sodium helps with nerve conduction and muscle contraction, and maintains fluid and electrolyte balance. Eating too much salt can increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke.

What?

A surprisingly small portion of your sodium intake comes from salt you add to your food with a salt shaker. The main sources of sodium intake for most people are processed foods such as packaged and prepared meats or side dishes, soups, dressings or sauces, and packaged snack foods.
Look for low sodium products. Choose fresh foods and ingredients rather than ready-to-eat packaged foods. Use herbs and spices, rather than salt, to add flavor to food.

How Much?

Most Americans consume too much sodium. Try to lower the amount of sodium you eat and drink.

Daily Limit of Sodium
Gender Age Amount
Women & Men 19+ < 2300 mg
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