The food choices that you make each day affect your health. It is important to eat a variety of nutrient packed foods which are low in solid fats and added sugars. Creating a healthy eating plan will help you and your family make smart food choices. A healthy eating plan emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products. It includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars. Click here to find out more about U.S. dietary guidelines.
Also, talk to your primary care physician at your next visit to learn more about healthy eating choices.
Food groups and Smart Choices:
Listed below are the five major food groups from which you should get most of your daily calories.
- Grains - Make half your grains whole. Examples include: oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, brown rice and whole wheat cereal.
- Vegetables - Vary your veggies from the five subgroups including: dark green vegetables, orange vegetables, starchy vegetables, dry beans and peas and other vegetables.
- Fruits - Eat lots of fruits. Fruits can be frozen, fresh, canned or dried.
- Milk - Foods in this category include milk, yogurt and cheese. Focus on fat-free or low-fat choices such as frozen yogurt, low-fat cheese and skim or 1 percent milk.
- Meat and Beans - Items in this group include: fish, poultry, meat, eggs, nuts, seeds, dry beans and peas. Healthy choices include: almonds, salmon and black beans. Concentrate on lean or low-fat meat and poultry choices.
Serving Size vs. Portion Size:
A serving is the amount of food recommended from each food group and depends on your age, gender, activity level and whether you are trying to maintain, gain or lose weight. A portion size is the amount of food that you choose to eat and often times is much bigger than the recommended serving. Food portions have gotten larger over time. Twenty years ago a cheeseburger had 333 calories and today it has 590 calories! Paying more attention to portion size can play a major role in weight loss. Do you want to know how much you should eat from each food group daily? To get a customized report click here.
Using the nutrition labels on food packages will help make sure you pay attention to calories and serving size, and select foods high in certain nutrients such as fiber and low in other nutrients such as saturated fat. For more information about how to read a label click here.
Listed below are links to sites that have healthy recipe ideas for you and your family.
Listed below are other resources to help you and your family eat healthier.
Resources for Children:
The links below provide fun games and tools for children to learn more about healthy eating.