USDA Food Patterns
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Patterns suggest that people over 50 keep an eye on calories while choosing a variety of healthy foods from five major food groups and limiting solid fats and added sugars.
Calories are the way to measure the energy you get from food. How many calories you need depends on whether you are a man or a woman and how physically active you are each day. Visit How many calories do you need? to choose the calorie total that’s right for you.
The chart below shows how to reach three different daily calorie totals. Suggestions are given as daily amounts, unless shown as weekly.
|1,600 calories||2,000 calories||2,600 calories|
|Grains||5 ounces or equivalent||6 ounces or equivalent||9 ounces or equivalent|
|Vegetables||2 cups||2-1/2 cups||3-1/2 cups|
|Fruits||1-1/2 cups||2 cups||2 cups|
|Protein foods||5 ounces or equivalent||5-1/2 ounces or equivalent||6-1/2 ounces or equivalent|
|Seafood||8 ounces/week||8 ounces/week||10 ounces/week|
|Meat, poultry, eggs||24 ounces/week||26 ounces/week||31 ounces/week|
|Nuts, seeds, soy products||4 ounces/week||4 ounces/week||5 ounces/week|
|Dairy products||3 cups||3 cups||3 cups|
|Oils||22 grams||27 grams||34 grams|
|Solid fats and added sugars (SoFAS)||121 calories||258 calories||362 calories|
For More Information on Healthy Eating
USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Content reviewed: May 17, 2017