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Posts Tagged ‘consume whole grains’

The USDA just released a week ago a document outlining new eating guidelines for Americans, including our kiddos. But just what do these guidelines mean and how can we incorporate them in our everyday eating habits? The main changes since the last update five years ago include: Reducing daily sodium intake to 2,300 milligrams, eating more fish (especially pregnant and breastfeeding women), and increasing physical activity.

In my opinion, the basic advice is the same. The new edge on these ideas is that the USDA is recognizing the fact that it’s very hard for people to follow that advice.

Candidly acknowledging the lack of progress, the USDA Guidelines Advisory Committee said they were aimed at, “an American public of whom the majority are overweight or obese and yet undernourished in several key nutrients.”

Lower Your Sodium
Lowering your sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams (about 1 teaspoon) is one of the key recommendations. For people who already have hypertension, diabetes, and other illnesses, this number drops to less than 1500 mg a day.

Increase physical activity
Children ages 6-17 should do 60 minutes or more of physical activity daily. Adults ages 18-64 should do at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity, or 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity.

 

Make the Switch to Fat-Free or 1% Milk
Only babies and children under 2 should be drinking whole milk. Everyone else should switch to low-fat or fat-free milk products.

Kids overwhelmingly choose flavored milk over plain, making it one of the few bright spots in the milk sales landscape, despite the otherwise seen milk sales plummet over the years as kids embraced sugary soda and sports drinks. Dairy interests are vigorously promoting flavored milk in schools through their “Raise Your Hand for Chocolate Milk!” campaign, endorsed also by the School Nutrition Association, representing some 53,000 of the nations school food service workers.

An eight-ounce carton of strawberry milk contains nearly as much sugar, ounce-for-ounce, as Mountain Dew. Very scary right?

 

Eat More Seafood
Consume 8 to 12 ounces of seafood per week from a variety of seafood types. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should eat seafood at least twice a week for nutrients that play an important role in babies’ brain and eye development.

 

 

Consume More Whole Grains
At least half the grains you consume should be whole grains. Do this by replacing refined grains with whole grains.

 

Cut Down on Saturated Fats
Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids. This means that we need to cut down consumption of animal products, dairy, eggs and also of processed foods (trans fats hide under the guise of hydrogenated oil in processed foods). We need to replace these with good fats like monounsaturated fatty acids (found in walnuts, pistachios, avocados and olive oil) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (found in salmon, fish oil, safflower oil etc).

Lower Your Dietary Cholesterol Consumption
Consume less than 300 mg per day of dietary cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol comes from animal and dairy products but not from fruits and vegetables. So basically this means less meat and more plants!

 

 

Reduce Added Sugars
Read nutrition labels to look for added sugars. Beware! Added sugars often “hide” behind less common monikers. Look for these varieties in your ingredient list: brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrates, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, lactose, maltose, malt syrup, molasses, raw sugar, sucrose, and syrup.

Fight Fat
Use oils to replace solid fats like butter, tallow, shortening and margarine.

Eat More Fruit
Nearly everyone can stand to increase their fruit intake. The USDA recommends about four 1/2-cup servings of fruit a day.

Eat Your Vegetables!
Increase your intake of vegetables including leafy greens, peas, and other brightly colored veggies.

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