A healthy diet is all about balance and moderation. Make sure to eat a wide range of foods, and only rarely eat foods that are high in fat or sugar. An easy guide to a balanced meal is the Department of Agriculture's MyPlate graphic, which shows the five building blocks of healthy eating.
To get the right balance in your diet:
Eat a rainbow of vegetables to provide many vitamins and minerals. Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, peas, and corn are high in calories, so eat them less often.
Choose whole fruit instead of juice for more fiber. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
Choose whole grains when you can. Whole grain breads and pastas provide more fiber, which will help with digestion and with keeping you full. A quarter of your plate should be whole grains.
For a heart-healthy diet, use fats that are liquid at room temperature rather than solid. Reduce total and saturated fats.
Eat lean protein such as seafood, eggs, poultry, beans, and nuts more often than beef and pork. Eat three to four ounces of protein per meal—for meat, that's a portion about the size of a deck of cards.
Switch to low- or nonfat options for dairy products such as milk or yogurt. Aim for two to three cups daily.