Seafood and Current Dietary Recommendations

Food alone cannot make a person healthy, but good eating habits based on variety and moderation can help keep a person healthy and may even improve health. The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services and Agriculture issued Dietary Guidelines in 2015 which are intended to help people maintain their health. To see these guidelines click here.

The guidelines suggest that Americans should increase their seafood consumption and eat seafood twice a week. In addition, the omega-3 fatty acids found in seafood may provide other significant health benefits. In order to maximize the health benefits of seafood, healthy preparation methods, like baking, are recommended.

The Key Recomendations in the 2015-2020 dietary guidelines describe the steps that can be taken to help all Americans adopt health-promoting nutrition and physical activity.

The Dietary Guidelines’ Key Recommendations for healthy eating patterns should be applied in their entirety, given the interconnected relationship that each dietary component can have with others.

Consume a healthy eating pattern that accounts for all foods and beverages within an appropriate calorie level.

A healthy eating pattern includes:[1]

  • A variety of vegetables from all of the subgroups—dark green, red and orange, legumes (beans and peas), starchy, and other
  • Fruits, especially whole fruits
  • Grains, at least half of which are whole grains
  • Fat-free or low-fat dairy, including milk, yogurt, cheese, and/or fortified soy beverages
  • A variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes (beans and peas), and nuts, seeds, and soy products
  • Oils

A healthy eating pattern limits:

  • Saturated fats and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium

Key Recommendations that are quantitative are provided for several components of the diet that should be limited. These components are of particular public health concern in the United States, and the specified limits can help individuals achieve healthy eating patterns within calorie limits:

  • Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from added sugars[2]
  • Consume less than 10 percent of calories per day from saturated fats[3]
  • Consume less than 2,300 milligrams (mg) per day of sodium[4]
  • If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation—up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men—and only by adults of legal drinking age.[5]

In tandem with the recommendations above, Americans of all ages—children, adolescents, adults, and older adults—should meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans to help promote health and reduce the risk of chronic disease. Americans should aim to achieve and maintain a healthy body weight. The relationship between diet and physical activity contributes to calorie balance and managing body weight. As such, the Dietary Guidelines includes a Key Recommendation to

  • Meet the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.[6]