The Road to a Healthy Life
Based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Department of Health and Human Services
This publication was produced by the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in collaboration with the Office of Minority Health and Office on Women's Health.
The Road to a Healthy Life: Based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005 was developed under contract by Latino Health Communications, Ann Arbor, Michigan for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
This brochure is based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005.
These are the basic guidelines for eating a healthy diet and being physically active. For more information about the food groups and nutrition values, or to pick up some new ideas on physical activity, go to www.healthierus.gov.
This booklet, as well as Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005, 6th Edition, may be viewed and downloaded from the Internet at www.healthierus.gov/dietaryguidelines.
To purchase printed copies of this booklet (Stock Number 017-001-00564-9), call the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) toll-free at (866) 512-1800, or access the GPO Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.
To purchase printed copies of the complete 80-page Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2005 (Stock Number 001-000-04719-1), call the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) at (866) 512-1800, or access the GPO Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.
The food and physical activity choices you make affect your health –how you feel today, tomorrow, and in the future. With the Dietary Guidelines, you can:
How do you make healthier food choices?
Eat the right foods in the amounts your body needs to stay healthy and maintain a healthy weight. Enjoy foods that have plenty of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients while keeping calories in mind.
How do you stay physically active?
Move more. Walk, run, or play sports. Yard work and even dancing count, too! Enjoy moderate-intensity physical activity on most days. Physical activity and physical fitness are important to your health.
What are the keys to a healthy lifestyle?
It is never too late to start healthy habits: eating right and being physically active. Even small changes make a difference. You can reduce your risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and certain cancers, and increase your chances for la buena vida. Physical activity and eating healthfully are important to everyone, especially pregnant and lactating women, children, teenagers, and older adults –everyone in the family. The sooner you start on the road to a healthier lifestyle, the better the results will be for you, your family, and your community. This is your guidebook for the road to a healthy life.
Find more specific information at www.healtherus.gov/dietaryguidelines.
Fruits and vegetable soups are examples of traditional foods that add balance and variety to the table. Foods give your body energy for daily activities and keep you healthy. For many, being healthy means to be free of diseases of the mind and body and to have the energy for work and play. Enjoy a variety of foods and beverages in the amounts right for you. Be healthy –stay healthy for you and your family.
Can Latino cuisine be healthful?
Yes! Just use your favorite recipes and remember to:
What are whole grains?
Whole grains, or foods made from them, have all the essential parts (bran, germ, and endosperm) and naturally occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed. Grains include wheat, corn, and oats. Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel, which is rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. There are many benefits to increasing the use of whole grains in your diet. Eating whole grains may reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease.
What are examples of whole grains and wholegrain foods?
How can you eat healthfully at home and away from home?
Plan ahead — this can help you save money and time! Eating healthier becomes easier if you:
Is this important?
Yes! It is important to enjoy a variety of foods throughout the day and week to get the balanced nutrition you and your family need.
What else can I do to enjoy foods that are healthy for me?
Choose foods packed with nutrients from each food group each day –those with lots of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients but lower in calories. Remember: Portion size does matter.
How can I put this into practice?
Before going to el mercado, use the idea of a rainbow as your guide for planning meals. Let each color of the rainbow represent a different type of food group. Check your food shopping list to make sure you have included many "colors" for the meals you and your family will prepare.
TIP Think about the variety of colors in rainbow. Use this variety in preparing and servig your meals.
Learn more - visit www.mypyramid.gov.
Since sugars add calories with few, if any nutrients, look for foods and beverages low in added sugars. Added sugars do not include naturally occurring sugars such as those found in milk and fruits. Read the ingredient lists on food and beverage packages and check to see that added sugars are not in the first few ingredients. Added sugars include: high fructose corn syrup, other syrups, sucrose, glucose, fructose, lactose, maltose, brown sugar, honey, molasses, fruit juice concentrates, and raw sugar added to food and beverage products.
Learn about fats and oils.
Fats and oils are a major source of energy and help the body absorb some vitamins and other important nutrients. Most oils are important for proper growth, development, and maintenance of good health. However, it is wise to limit fat, especially saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol, which may increase your risk of heart disease.
What fats and oils should I use?
Prepare foods with canola, olive, corn, safflower, or soybean oil. Choose vegetable oils (except coconut and palm kernel oils) and soft margarines(liquid, tub, or spray) more often instead of lard and solid shortenings, stick margarines, and animal fats, including butter.
Should I limit some types of fat?Yes. Limit saturated fat, trans fat, and foods high in cholesterol.
What else can I do?
Learn more about the Nutrition Facts label and compare foods; choose items with lower saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol. When preparing meals, trim visible fat from meats, limit fried foods, try egg whites and use low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products. Nuts, olives, avocados, and some types of fish are naturally high in beneficial fats and oils, but go easy on the total amount you eat.
Most sodium comes from processed foods, not from the saltshaker. Limit your salt use. Consume less than 2,300 mg of sodium per day – check the Nutrition Facts label.
Can you meet your daily nutrient needs and stay within the recommended
How do you choose the most nutritious foods and beverages?
What’s the connection between food, physical
activity, and weight?
For children, the connection is different because their bodies are growing. Parents and caretakers should provide children with age-appropriate portion sizes and encourage physical activity on most days, preferably all days of the week. If you have concerns about your child’s weight, contact your health care provider.
Does everyone need the same number of calories?
No. Growing children, adolescents, and adults have different needs. Your age, your gender, and the amount and type of physical activity you do matter as well.
REMEMBER How much you eat and how physically active you are affect your health and body weight!
It depends. Let’s practice with Reinaldo. He is a 35-year-old male. He works in a machine shop. Reinaldo is not active enough. He falls into the “sedentary” activity level. It looks like he needs 2,200 calories per day. That is, if he continues to stay sedentary. Use the chart below to find out approximately how many calories you and your family members need each day. Calorie estimates are guidelines only – especially for children and adolescents. Many factors affect how your body uses calories.
2. Select the activity level that matches yours. Read the definitions and examples below first.
3. Read across the chart to find your estimated calorie needs. That’s it.
a Sedentary – Examples: walking at a casual pace such as while grocery shopping or doing light household chores. You do only light physical activity in connection with your everyday life. Although you are moving, these activities do not increase your heart rate, so you should not count these toward the 30 or more minutes a day goal.
b Moderately Active – Examples: walking briskly, dancing, mowing the lawn, bicycling, or actively playing with children. You are physically active Estimated Calorie Requirements Instructions: 1. Find your gender and age. 2. Select the activity level that matches yours. Read the definitions and examples below first. 3. Read across the chart to find your estimated calorie needs. That’s it.
beyond your everyday life activities. Your heart beats noticeably faster during physical activity. You are active for at least 30 minutes most days of the week.
c Active – Examples: playing competitive soccer, jogging or running, swimming laps, jumping rope, or doing heavy yard work. During exercise, your breathing is hard and fast, and your heart rate is increased substantially within a safe heart range. You are physically active at least 30-60 minutes or more on most days of the week.
Physical activity is part of daily life in Latin America. In the U.S., some Latinos work in physically demanding jobs, others do not. There are health benefits to being physically active. Moderate-intensity activity helps you control your weight, feel great, and perhaps lower your chances of developing chronic diseases such as diabetes.
What is physical activity?
Is physical activity for everyone?
Physical activity: How much, how often, how intense?
Being physically active in several 10-minute sessions works just as well – the total daily number of minutes is what counts for both health and weight management. It is never too late to start no matter how young or old you are!
If you eat 100 calories a day more than you burn, you will gain about 1 pound a month– about 10 pounds in one year! If you want to lose weight it is important to reduce calories and increase physical activity. Use the Nutrition Facts label to make healthier choices and check out www.smallstep.gov for more ideas and tools.
Food safety is important in every kitchen. It is estimated that every year about 76 million people in the United States become ill from preventable food contamination. While some believe that cooking alone will solve the problem, often it is not enough. Most bacteria grow in the temperature range of 40° F to 140° F (4.44° C to 60° C) known as the danger zone. Learn how to prepare, handle, and store food the right way to keep you and your family safe.
Can food make you sick?
What can I do to prevent this?
For more information, call the Meat and Poultry Hotline at (888) 674-6854
If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. Excess drinking can be harmful to your health. It can lead to the development of chronic diseases. And some people, or people in certain situations, should not drink at all. Alcohol has calories but is low in nutritional value. Drinking can make it harder to maintain a healthy weight.
What is moderate drinking?
Who shouldn’t drink? You should not drink:
Excess drinking can affect your judgment, lead to dependency or addiction, and increase your risk of other serious health problems.
If you have any questions or concerns, check with your doctor or other health-care provider.
1. Find your height in the left-most column.
2. Read across the row from your height to find your weight in pounds.
3. Follow the column up and read if you are in the Healthy Weight, Overweight, or Obese category.
Why should you care about a healthy weight?|
Excess body fat can place you at higher risk for some types of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, stroke, gall bladder disease, respiratory problems, gout, osteoarthritis, and certain kinds of cancers...even premature death. Being at a healthy weight is important for children and adults.
What does Body Mass Index (BMI) mean?
Source: Adapted from Evidence Report of Clinical Guidelines on the identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults, 1996, NIH NAtional Heart Lung, and Blood institute (NHLBI)
If you are at a healthy weight:
If you are overweight:
If you are obese:
This booklet is your guide for the road to a healthy Hispanic community. Take control . . . it is important for you and your family, your future, and your health. ¡ Bienvenidos a la buena vida!