As many Americans take major steps to improve their diets and lead healthier lives, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released new dietary guidelines to keep them on track.

“The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans” was issued on Jan. 31 and contains fact-based nutritional information to help prevent chronic disease and obesity.

“The 2010 Dietary Guidelines are being released at a time when the majority of adults and one in three children are overweight or obese and this is a crisis that we can no longer ignore,” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement. “These new and improved dietary recommendations give individuals the information to make thoughtful choices with physical activity.”

The information reinforces common healthy eating practices, like avoiding foods that hold too much sodium and calories from fat, and shows how to replace them with vegetables, fruits, seafood, and fat-free foods.

The guidelines lay out 23 key recommendations for the general public and six additional recommendations for other population groups like pregnant women. These recommendations are the tools for improving public health, the USDA said.

Statistics of diet-related diseases are also included in the guidelines, with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes and cancer being the most prevalent.

In the coming months, both departments intend to release more information for Americans to utilize to improve their diets, including a “Next Generation Food Pyramid,” which details portion control and ways to manage sodium.

“The bottom line is that most Americans need to trim our waistlines to reduce risk of developing diet-related chronic disease,” Vilsack said. “Improving our eating habits is not only good for every individual and family but also good for our country.”