by Liz Erker, RD LD MS
As National Nutrition Month winds down, I encourage you to continue to think of food and water as medicine which is meant to nourish our bodies in an easy, delicious and economical way. Keep eating for health simply by focusing on this thought:
These recommendations from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans can help get you started:
- Emphasize fruit, vegetables, whole grains (Lots of PLANTS!) and low-fat or fat-free milk and milk products.
- Include lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts.
- Make sure your diet is low in saturated fats, trans fats, salt (sodium) and added sugars.
Make Your Calories Count:
Think nutrient-rich rather than "good" or "bad" foods. The majority of your food choices should be packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients, and lower in calories. Making smart food choices can help you stay healthy, manage your weight and be physically active.
Focus on Variety:
Eat a variety of foods from all the food groups to get the nutrients your body needs. Fruits and vegetables can be fresh, frozen or canned. Eat more dark green vegetables such as leafy greens and broccoli and orange vegetables including carrots and sweet potatoes. Vary your protein choices with more fish, beans and peas. Eat at least 3 ounces of whole-grain cereals, breads, crackers, rice or pasta every day.
Know Your Fats:
Look for foods low in saturated fats and trans fats to help reduce your risk of heart disease. Most of the fats you eat should be monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils. Check the Nutrition Facts panel on food labels for total fat and saturated fat