How Is Your Diet According to the Healthy Eating Index?

How Is Your Diet According to the Healthy Eating Index?

Studies on the Healthy Eating Index

The U.S. Department of Agriculture developed a Healthy Eating Index, which is a tool used to evaluate the quality of a person’s diet. A study revealed that the higher you score on this Index, the better is your chance to live long.

The Journal of the American Medical Association published a study that mentions the seeming lower risk of premature death due to cardiovascular disease and other illnesses among elderly patients who scored high on the Healthy Eating Index.

This idea is not surprising at all, because there have been other studies that linked a longer life to a healthy and well-balanced diet. There was even a study that investigated the lives of people who lived to be 100 years old. The study states that lifestyle factors, such as eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and not smoking, are common among centenarians and are strong contributors to their longevity.

You and the Healthy Eating Index

So, what does the Healthy Eating Index got to do with us average persons? How do we know if we are up to the standards?

The basis of this index is the percent of food consumed by a person per 1,000 calories. Below, you can find the types of food that you need to eat and the right amount to get a high Healthy Eating Index score. This recommendation also reflects the 2005 dietary guidelines published by the USDA.

The Recommended Diet

Per 1,000 calories consumed, you should eat:
About 0.8 cups of total fruits, which equal to 2 to 5 servings daily
About 0.4 cups of whole fruit
About 1.1 cups of dark greens and orange veggies, which equal to 2 to 5 servings daily
About 3.0 ounces of total grains
About 1.5 ounces of whole grains, equal to 3 servings daily
About 1.3 cups of dairy products, equal to 3 to 5 servings of non-fat or low-fat dairy products daily
About 2.5 ounces of meat and beans, equal to 46 to 56 grams of protein daily
Not more than 12 grams of oil
Not more than 7 percent saturated fat
Not more than 0.7 grams of sodium
Not more than 20 percent solid fats, added sugar and alcohol. Limit to not more than 2 servings per day

Now that you know how much of each food types you need to eat, what do you think? How healthy is your diet?

Photo credits: Make Healthy Choices By Unknown photographer via Wikipedia, Public Domain.

Categories: Diet, Nutrition

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