As a registered dietitian, its my job to assist you in developing a healthier lifestyle. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for healthy Americans ages 2 and older provide some practical tips. Below are a few key messages from the Guidelines.
- Watch portion sizes. A serving size looks like the following:
3 oz of meat = deck of cards; 1 baked potato = computer mouse; 1 dinner roll = yo-yo; 1 cup cereal = baseball; 1 cup pasta = tennis ball; 1 cup salad = baseball; 1 oz cheese = ping pong ball
- Incorporate more fruits and vegetables onto your plate. The usual intake for veggies is about 59% and 42% for fruit. Clearly we could be doing better so add some color to your diet. Fill ½ your plate with fruits and veggies.
- Watch out for solid fats and added sugar. A few examples of foods that provide solid fats include full-fat dairy based desserts or whole milk, butter, and lard. Added sugar can be found in products such as candy, regular soda, grain based desserts, and fruit drinks.
- Consume less salt. Try cooking with spices and herbs to kick up the flavor.
- Enjoy more seafood in your diet. Try baked, broiled, and grilled dark fish, such as salmon.
- Make 1/2 your grains whole grains. This includes brown rice, oatmeal, bulgur (cracked wheat), millet, quinoa, sorghum, popcorn, and any food with the word "whole" such as whole wheat bread and whole wheat pasta.
- Move more and keep moving! Recommendations are for 2.5-5 hours of moderately intense exercise or 1.5-5 hours of vigorous exercise per week.
Consulting with a registered dietitian can assist you in incorporating these tips from the Dietary Guidelines. You can visit www.eatright.org for more information. To learn more about the 2010 Dietary Guidelines visit www.cnpp.usda.gov/dietaryguidelines.htm.
More Answers from Joy Dubost, PhD