Infographic: This is what three square meals look like under the new dietary guidelines

The federal government's new dietary guidelines give Americans the go-ahead to eat cholesterol-rich foods like eggs and drink up to five cups of coffee a day. They also emphasize the value of eating more foods that come from plants, including fruits, vegetables and legumes.

In addition, the guidelines set limits on certain nutrients that have been shown to contribute to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other chronic ailments. For instance, Americans are advised to limit their sodium consumption to 2,300 milligrams a day — the equivalent of a single teaspoon of table salt — and to make sure no more than 10% of their total calories come from added sugars or saturated fat.

Below is a sample menu for a day of healthful eating. But beware: Even foods that seem unequivocally good for you may be sources of sugar, sodium and saturated fat.

Read full story: Eggs and coffee get the all-clear in new dietary guidelines just issued by the U.S.



Saturated fats:

Added sugars:


(Los Angeles Times)

Bagel with peanut butter and banana
Whole wheat bagel 1/2 regular bagel (4 ounces)
Creamy peanut butter 2 tablespoons
Banana 1 medium
Coffee with milk and sugar
Whole milk 1/4 cup
Sugar 2 teaspoons
Fat-free strawberry yogurt 8 ounces

Total: 726 calories


(Los Angeles Times)

Tuna salad sandwich with lettuce, tomato and mayo
100% whole wheat bread 2 slices
Canned tuna 2 ounces
Mayonnaise 2 teaspoons
Chopped celery 2 tablespoons
Lettuce 1 medium leaf
Carrots 4 baby carrots
Raisins 1/4 cup
Low-fat milk (1%) 1 cup

Total: 507 calories


(Los Angeles Times)

Spaghetti and meatballs
Spaghetti 1 cup, cooked
Spaghetti sauce 1/4 cup
Diced tomatoes (canned, no salt added) 1/4 cup
Meatballs 3 medium meatballs
Parmesan cheese 1 tablespoon
Garden salad  
Mixed greens 1 cup
Cucumber 3 slices
Avocado 1/4 cup, cubed
Garbanzo beans (canned, low sodium) 1/4 cup
Cheddar cheese (reduced fat) 3 tablespoons, shredded
Ranch dressing 1 tablespoon
Apple, raw 1/2 medium
Water, tap 1 cup

Total: 761 calories

Daily totals

Sodium 2,253 mg Daily limit: 2,300 mg
Saturated fats 153 calories (8% of total calories) Recommendation: 10% of calories
Added sugars 164 calories (8% of total calories) Recommendation: 10% of calories

Total: 1,995 calories

Source: Dietary Guidelines 2015-2020

Digital production: Sean Greene