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Living Well In Yalobusha County

Six Ways To Meet The Dietary Guidelines

By Pamela Redwine

These recommendations are based on the latest USDA’s Economic Research Service, which showed that American’s are not meeting the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  Based on the report, we have six simple changes you can do to make your diet better.

1. Eat fewer refined grains and more whole grains.  Limit bakery treats and other refined grains made with white flour.  Start eating breakfast at home made with oatmeal or whole grain cereal.  Choose brown rice and whole grain pasta for other meals.  Pick 100 percent whole grain bread in place of white bread.

2. Increase fruits and vegetables all day every day. Start eating fruit throughout the day for breakfast and snacks.  Fruit can replace cookies and other treats that probably contain too much fat and sugar.  Make sure you are eating plenty of vegetables at lunch and dinner.

3. Don’t forget the skim milk and yogurt.  Make sure you are getting about 3 cups of nonfat milk and or yogurt each day.  Milk at breakfast and yogurt for snacks and desserts is a good plan!

4. Cut down on added fat in the diet.  Most Americans consumer over 30 percent of their calories from added fats. The trouble is, this doesn’t include fat that is naturally found in food.  Even a plain salad contains 10 percent calories from fat and fatty foods like meats, nuts and dairy have much more.  It is easy to eat too much fat when you are adding it to food in the way of oil, dressing, sauces and fried foods.

5. Lean out on protein.  Most people are getting enough protein.  But they probably don’t choose wisely enough to choose lean cuts of meat, poultry without skin and fish that is not breaded.  Choose lean when it comes to protein.  And don’t forget to put beans in your diet 3 times per week – did you know that is what is called for in the DASH diet?  And fish is called for 2 times per week.  That leaves about 2 days for chicken and lean beef.

6. WHOA on the sugar!  Here is where most people really mess up.  Many Americans are eating 30 teaspoons of sugar a day instead of the limit of eight.  Sweet treats, soda, sugar added to coffee, it all adds up. Did you know that one large soda from a fast food restaurant can contain up to 50 teaspoons of sugar?  That is almost a week’s supply!  Cut out sugar in beverages because that is where you are least likely to notice the sugar missing. Choose smaller portions of treats and limit them to once a day. By choosing more fresh fruit you will lower the amount of sweet treats that you eat!

Article Source: Communicating Food for Health, March 2008

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