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Healthy Eating for Young Adults

Healthy Eating for Young Adults

Building healthy food habits as a young adult will help you now and later in life. Use these easy tips to start healthy habits that will last.


Maintain a healthy diet

Follow the basics of healthy eating: eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein foods, and fat-free or low-fat dairy and fortified soy alternatives. Vary your protein with seafood, lean meats, poultry, beans, peas, lentils, nuts, and eggs. 

Keep fruit handy

Keep fruit where you can see it – on the counter or on the top shelf of the fridge. Make it easy to reach for fruit when you need a snack.

Choose a variety of vegetables

Brighten a stir-fry with colorful vegetables, such as (orange) sweet potatoes, (red) cabbage, and (yellow) squash. Decorate a salad with (orange) shredded carrots and (green) edamame.

Include whole grains

Fuel your body with nutrient-packed whole-grain foods. Make at least half your grains whole grains, such as whole-wheat bread, cereal, and, yes, even popcorn!

Enjoy a variety of protein foods

Choose lean or low-fat cuts of meat, skinless chicken or turkey, and seafood at least twice a week. Plant-based foods such as beans, peas, and lentils are good choices, too.

Don’t forget dairy

Include foods like fat-free and low-fat dairy milk, yogurt, lactose-free versions, and calcium-fortified soy milk to help to build and maintain strong bones.

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MyPlate.gov is based on the
Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025

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