America loves healthy living; from popular lifestyle blogs, to the recent farm-to-table frenzy, most Americans are more conscious than ever about the contents of their plate, making them more interested in nutrition, and in turn, where their food comes from.

While food fads and healthy living ideas are taking over magazine racks and restaurant concepts, American agriculture continues to provide an abundance of safe and affordable foods produced using the highest standards for quality, food safety and environmental protection.

Combining American agriculture and healthy living, the recently released 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans focuses on the core goal of promoting a healthy and nutritionally adequate diet by encouraging healthy living patterns.

The top five takeaways from the guidelines include:

  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 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. Strive for an eating pattern low in added sugars, saturated fats and sodium.  Cut back on foods and beverages higher in theses nutrients 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.
  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.

As described by the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, a healthy eating pattern includes daily servings of a variety of vegetables, fruits, grains (at least half from whole grains), fat-free or low-fat dairy, a variety of protein foods (including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes, etc.) and oils.

Lifelong healthy eating habits depend on healthy food choices, making America’s farmers and ranchers invaluable as they continually strive to provide safe, affordable and healthy foods for consumers around the country.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans can be found at