|Adequate Nutrients Within Calorie Needs|
|Types of Food|
|Specific Population Groups I|
|Specific Population Groups II|
Page 1 of 4Many Americans consume more calories than they need without meeting recommended intakes for a number of nutrients. This circumstance means that most people need to choose meals and snacks that are high in nutrients but low to moderate in energy content; that is, meeting nutrient recommendations must go hand in hand with keeping calories under control. Doing so offers important benefits—normal growth and development of children, health promotion for people of all ages, and reduction of risk for a number of chronic diseases that are major public health problems.
Based on dietary intake data or evidence of public health problems, intake levels of the following nutrients may be of concern for:
- Adults: calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium, and vitamins A (as carotenoids), C, and E,
- Children and adolescents: calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium, and vitamin E,
- Specific population groups (see below): vitamin B12, iron, folic acid, and vitamins E and D.
Meeting Recommended Intakes Within Energy Needs A basic premise of the Dietary Guidelines is that food guidance should recommend diets that will provide all the nutrients needed for growth and health. To this end, food guidance should encourage individuals to achieve the most recent nutrient intake recommendations of the Institute of Medicine, referred to collectively as the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs). Tables of the DRIs are provided at http://www.iom.edu/Object.File/Master/21/372/0.pdf.
An additional premise of the Dietary Guidelines is that the nutrients consumed should come primarily from foods. Foods contain not only the vitamins and minerals that are often found in supplements, but also hundreds of naturally occurring substances, including carotenoids, flavonoids and isoflavones, and protease inhibitors that may protect against chronic health conditions. There are instances when fortified foods may be advantageous, as identified in this chapter. These include providing additional sources of certain nutrients that might otherwise be present only in low amounts in some food sources, providing nutrients in highly bioavailable forms, and where the fortification addresses a documented public health need.
Two examples of eating patterns that exemplify the Dietary Guidelines are the DASH Eating Plan and the USDA Food Guide. These two similar eating patterns are designed to integrate dietary recommendations into a healthy way to eat and are used in the Dietary Guidelines to provide examples of how nutrientfocused recommendations can be expressed in terms of food choices. Both the USDA Food Guide and the DASH Eating Plan differ in important ways from common food consumption patterns in the United States. In general, they include:
- More dark green vegetables, orange vegetables, legumes, fruits, whole grains, and lowfat milk and milk products.
- Less refined grains, total fats (especially cholesterol, and saturated and trans fats), added sugars, and calories.