The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 are here and (before you go reading 150 pages all at once) I am here to help break them down.

The DGA covers the entire lifespan – through pregnancy and lactating to infants, toddlers, child and adolescent nutrition to adult nutrition and older adults. Depending on what part of the lifespan your loved ones are in, you may want to read further or reach out to me personally. For the sake of this weekly newsletter, I am going to provide information for adult nutrition. 

So here they are sweet, and simple. 

  • The guidelines are intended to “make every bite count” at every life stage – it is never too early or too late to eat healthfully.

  • They are meant to be customized so that nutrient dense food and beverage choices can reflect personal preferences, cultural traditions and budgetary considerations – this is why I don’t provide set meal plans – we all have different customizations that only we can choose!

  • The goal is to focus on meeting food group needs with nutrient-dense foods and beverages and staying within calorie limits.
    • Vegetables – of all types – dark green; red and orange; beans, peas, and lentils; starch and other vegetables
    • Fruits, especially whole fruits
    • Grains – at least 1/2 of which are whole grain
    • Dairy – including fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese, or lactose-free versions and fortified soy beverages as alternatives
    • Protein foods – including lean meats, poultry and eggs; seafood; beans, peas and lentils; and nuts, seeds and soy products
  • Limit foods and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium and limit alcoholic beverages.

    • Added sugars – less than 10% of calories per day starting at age 2. Avoid foods and beverages with added sugars for those younger than age 2.
    • Saturated fat – less than 10% of calories per day starting at age 2.
    • Sodium – less than 2,300 mg per day
    • Alcoholic beverages – adults of legal drinking age can choose not to drink, or to drink in moderation by limiting intake to 2 drinks or less in a day for men and 1 drink or less in a day for women, when alcohol is consumed. Drinking less is better for health than drinking more. There are some adults who should not drink alcohol, such as women who are pregnant.

So all in all, eat your vegetables and fruits, limit your added sugar, cut your saturated fat, lower your sodium and drink less alcohol. Easier said than done, I know. There is so much more to your food story and health journey. That’s where the customization comes in. That’s why I am available for group and personal nutrition sessions. Together, let’s break these guidelines down and turn them into reality.  Contact me at to discuss how you can make more of your bites count toward your health!