The foods and beverages you consume have a significant impact on your health. Diet-related chronic diseases—such as cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and some types of cancer—are prevalent among Americans and pose a major public health problem. In fact, 60% of adults have one or more diet-related chronic diseases.
Every five years, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture publish nutrition advice. The newest version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2020-2025) offers science-based nutrition advice to develop healthy eating habits and reduce chronic disease risk. For the first time, this edition provides recommendations by life stage, from birth through older adulthood.
2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines
The latest guidance provides four overarching guidelines that encourage healthy eating patterns while recognizing that individuals will need to make shifts in their food and beverage choices to achieve a healthy pattern.
Make every bite count and consider the following four overarching guidelines:
1. Follow a healthy dietary pattern at every life stage. Dietary needs and recommendations vary based on your age, sex and stage of life. Review the guidelines to ensure that you and your loved ones—whether they’re infants, teens, adults or older adults—are following a healthy diet.
2. Customize your foods and beverages to reflect personal preferences, cultural traditions and budgets. A healthy dietary pattern can benefit all people regardless of age, race, ethnicity or current health status.
3. Focus on meeting food group needs with nutrient-dense foods and beverages while staying within calorie limits. Keep in mind that 85% of your daily calories should meet food group recommendations for vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy and protein. Nutrient-dense foods are rich in vitamins and minerals, without too much-added sugars, saturated fats and sodium.
4. Limit foods and beverages high in added sugars, saturated fats and sodium. Be mindful of the nutritional facts of the foods and beverages you consume—including alcohol. For example, men should limit alcohol to two drinks a day and women should consume no more than one drink per day.
Everyone can benefit from a healthy eating pattern, so start simple with modest changes each day.
For healthy recipes or to learn more about the current guidelines, visit MyPlate.gov.
Did you know there are five factors that can affect how much your health plan’s monthly premium is under the health care law?
However, individual states can limit how much these factors come into play.
These five factors are:
- Age: Premiums can be up to 3 times higher for older people than for younger people.
- Location: Where you live has a big effect on your premiums. Differences in competition, state and local rules and cost of living are the reasons why.
- Tobacco use: Insurers can charge tobacco users up to 50% more than those who don’t use tobacco.
- Individual vs. family enrollment: Insurers can charge more for a plan that also covers a spouse and/or dependents.
- Plan category: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Catastrophic. The categories are based on how you and the plan share costs. Bronze plans usually have lower monthly premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs when you get care. Platinum plans usually have the highest premiums and lowest out-of-pocket costs.
In addition, insurance companies may offer more benefits, which could also affect costs. Furthermore, insurance companies can not charge women and men different prices for the same plan, nor can they take your current medical history or health into account when otherwise known as pre-existing conditions.
Below is the table that the federal government uses to determine health insurance assistance.
If your income falls between 135% and 400% of the federal poverty level for your family size you may qualify for assistance with your premiums.