These provide basic information and related resources for common food and nutrition questions. For personalized dietary advice, please talk to a qualified health care professional.
- What nutrition advice do experts within the U.S. Government have for the public?
- How can I get nutrition advice about a medical condition?
- How can I learn more about food allergies?
- Do you have a good explanation of the information on food labels?
- What about popular weight loss diets?
- Where can I find information on dietary supplements?
- Does USDA have menus or recipes for people on a budget?
- What are the most important things I can do to avoid foodborne illness?
- Where can I get information on the nutritional content in various foods?
- I am confused about different types of fats like saturated, trans, etc.
- I am a student doing a paper on nutrition. Can you send me information?
A. Nutrition experts have developed the:
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans - Provides advice for healthy Americans age two years and older about food choices that promote health and prevent diseases.
- ChooseMyPlate - Helps you choose the foods and amounts that are right for you.
- MyPlate For Kids
A. For counseling:
- Talk with your physician or other health professional about referring you to a Registered Dietitian (RD). An RD can provide personalized dietary advice taking into consideration your health status (such as other medical conditions), lifestyle, and food likes and dislikes.
- The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a Find A Registered Dietitian service which allows you to locate an RD in your geographical area with particular specialties (such as weight control, diabetes, digestive disorders, etc.).
- Check with your local Health Department, hospitals, clinics, and Cooperative Extension for informational classes such as weight loss.
- You may find some useful nutrition information on the Web. Web sites however, do not take the place of personalized advice from a qualified health professional, and may have inaccurate or misleading information.
- Topics A-Z is an extensive list of resources for both professionals and consumers that includes diseases and related nutrition topics.
A. There are many reliable resources on the Web
- Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) Call 800-929-4040 (703-691-3179 in VA) for basic questions and referrals
- Other resources on the Consumer Corner Food Allergies and Sensitivities page.
A. We recommend the following:
- See food labeling information prepared by the Food and Drug Administration
- Other information can be found at Consumer Corner Food Labels web page.
A. Weight loss diets have been popular for many years. Many people have, in fact, followed a weight loss diet at one time or another. Unfortunately, most results are not permanent and some pose serious health risks. The popular low-carbohydrate high-protein diet is an example of a strict weight loss program that may carry potentially serious health risks. See What You Should Know About Popular Diets
Before you begin any weight loss program, it is wise to speak to a qualified health professional such as a Registered Dietitian for advice on a program that is right for you. To locate a Registered Dietitian in your area, search the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Find a Registered Dietitian service.
You may find some useful information on the Web about weight loss and healthy eating. This is only for information purposes and does not take the place of personalized advice from a qualified health professional who is familiar with your particular situation. Also, though the Web can provide useful information, some of the information can be inaccurate or misleading. Many sites devoted to weight loss are marketing special products.
- Choosing a Safe and Successful Weight-Loss Program - Weight-control Information Network
- Weight Management and Obesity Resource List (PDF|291 KB) - A listing of reputable educational materials
- Interested In Losing Weight? Nutrition.gov
- Other Resources on the Consumer Corner Weight Management web page.
A. Many web sites on the Internet related to dietary supplements are maintained by manufacturers and retailers that may want to sell you supplements. You may be able find some useful information on the Internet about dietary supplements and health or your particular medical condition, but keep in mind that this is only for information purposes and does not take the place of personalized advice from a qualified health professional who is familiar with your particular situation. And, while the Internet can provide useful information about dietary supplements, some of the information can be inaccurate or misleading. We advise that you discuss your questions regarding the use of dietary supplements and alternative medicine with your healthcare provider.
General dietary supplement information
- Dietary Supplements: General Resources for Consumers (PDF|85 KB)
- Fact Sheets on Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs, and Botanicals - Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Heath
- Dietary Supplements - Provides an overview of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and its role in dietary supplement labeling
- Tips for the Savvy Supplement User: Making Informed Decisions and Evaluating Information - U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Tips and resources for making decisions about using dietary supplements
- How to Report Adverse Reactions & Medical Product Problems to the FDA - Links to the Adverse Reactions Monitoring System which FDA maintains to keep track of adverse reactions from dietary supplements.
- FNIC's Dietary Supplement Information - Food and Nutrition Information Center, our page linking you to a variety of reliable dietary supplement resources
- MEDLINEplus for Herbal Medicine - National Library of Medicine, Links to a variety of up-to-date news and background information about herbal medicine
- American Botanical Council - Non-profit organization concerned with science-based herbal information
- Herb Research Foundation - Source of science-based information on the use of herbs
- PubMed Dietary Supplement Subset- Office of Dietary Supplements and National Library of Medicine, NIH
Alternative and Complementary Treatments: Health Information for Older People
- Alternative Medicines - Federal Trade Commission
Where to go with questions about unconventional alternative medicine treatments.
- National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) - National Institutes of Health Provides information on complementary and alternative medicine to practitioners and the public.
A. Recipes and menus for people on a budget can be found at:
- What's cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl
A. The four most important points to remember are:
1. Wash your hands frequently
2. Cook to proper temperatures
3. Refrigerate foods promptly
4. Avoid cross contamination
For more food safety information:
A. Food composition tables provide calories and nutrients for many foods.
A. Reliable Web sites where you can find the answers:
- Face the Fats- (PDF|284 KB) - Center for Science in the Public Interest
- See also: Heart Nutrition and Recipes
A. If you have not found what you want on our Consumer Corner, we would recommend that you visit the Food and Nutrition Information Center's (FNIC) home page. You can get there by clicking on "Home" in the top left corner of this page.
The FNIC Web site contains an extensive amount of food and nutrition-related information. You may use the Search option to locate information on the Web site about a specific topic you are interested in. Or click on the navigation buttons on the left side.
Our Topics A-Z page contains the FNIC Web site content listed alphabetically by topic. You can also use the Search option in the Topics A-Z listing to locate a topic of interest.
Other resources on our Web site that students find helpful are:
- FNIC Resource List bibliographies on a number of topics such as eating disorders, nutrition education for children, food safety, dietary supplements, and many more. A popular one with students is Eating Smart: A Nutrition Resource List for Consumers (PDF|138KB).
- Databases including AGRICOLA, the National Agricultural Library's searchable bibliographic database.
- FNIC's Reports and Studies
- Our specialty Web sites: