Advice for Eating a Well-Balanced Diet

(1) Limit the amount of refined or added sugars in your diet.

Refined sugars are added to sweeten many foods and beverages. The most common foods with high refined sugar intake include:

  • Soft drinks (non-diet), energy drinks, and sport drinks
  • Candy
  • Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Sweet rolls, pastries, and donuts
  • Fruit drinks
  • Ice cream and other desserts

You may not recognize refined sugars in many foods. These are commonly added refined sugars:

  • Anhydrous dextrose
  • Brown sugar
  • Corn sugar
  • Corn syrup and corn syrup solids
  • Dextrose
  • Fructose
  • High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • Invert sugar
  • Malt syrup and maltose
  • Sucrose
  • White granulated sugar

(2) Eat more fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables are the foundation for a healthy diet. Aim for 5 portions per day. Choose fruits and vegetables with green, orange and yellow colors.

(3) Cut out empty calories.

Choose foods without empty calories, unhealthy refined sugars. Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Cut down on foods with added sugar. It is okay to have desserts once in a while as treats but don’t have them every day. When you do have foods with empty calories, try to limit the portion size.

(4) Chose “whole grains” over refined sugars.

Choose whole-grain rice, breads, pasta and cereals. Make sure the ingredients say “whole-grain or whole-wheat” as the first ingredient on the label.

Further Reading

Easy tips for planning a healthy diet

Choose my plate.gov

Nutrition and healthy eating

Fortify your health