What is a healthy diet?

A healthy eating pattern is one that provides enough of each essential nutrient from nutrient-dense foods, contains a variety of foods from all of the basic food groups, and focuses on balancing calories consumed with calories expended to help you achieve and sustain a healthy weight. This eating pattern limits intake of solid fats, sugar, salt (sodium) and alcohol.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans consumer pamphlet, Let's Eat For the Health of It (PDF | 968KB), provides guidance for creating a healthy eating pattern to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and osteoporosis. Go to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans for more information.