Healthy Eating Guidelines

Healthy Eating Guidelines

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    A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of

    A food pyramid is a visual aid to display the amount of each food group that should be consumed in a day. There are different food pyramids for different cultures and countries. The United States has moved to MyPlate. MyPlate is the new visual aid. A plate of food groups distributes the portion on a plate. For example, half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables. 

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    A , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    I'd say all foods are allowed as long as they exist in nature -- and are ideally organic. That said, you want to aim to balance carbohydrates, proteins, and fats at each eating occasion, to get plenty of non-starchy vegetables too, and add spices and herbs for flavor and nutrients too. For more information you can visit my nutrition plan at www.ashleykoffrd.com/nutritionplan.
     
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    A Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of

    The USDA Food Pyramid did some things well, but also had a few areas for improvement. It showed that everyone needed daily exercise, but many people were confused by the narrow slices of the food groups, and how that translated into their own personal nutrition program. My plate is very clear and simple....1/2 of your plate is fruits and vegetables, 1/4 lean protein, 1/4 whole grain, and low fat dairy…much easier to conceptualize for most people.

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    A , Naturopathic Medicine, answered

    There are three vegetable categories: green leafy and cruciferous; low-glycemic; and starchy. Eating a variety of vegetables from each category daily will help you achieve a "rainbow" assortment and allow you to focus on low-glycemic choices. One vegetable serving equals:

    1. cup of raw leafy vegetables (such as lettuce or spinach);
    2. 1/2 cup raw non leafy, cooked vegetables or fresh vegetable juice.

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    A , Naturopathic Medicine, answered

    The basic four food groups are:

    1. The milk group: Milk, cheese, ice cream, and other milk-based foods
    2. The meat group: Meat, fish, poultry, and eggs, with dried legumes and nuts as alternatives
    3. The fruits and vegetables group
    4. The breads and cereals group

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    Beans can be counted either as vegetables or in the meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts group. Generally, if you regularly eat meat, poultry and fish you can count beans in the vegetable group. One-half cup of cooked beans is one serving. Those who seldom eat meat, poultry or fish, such as vegetarians, should count some of the beans they eat in the meat and beans group. One-fourth cup of beans counts as one ounce of meat, poultry or fish.
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    A , Naturopathic Medicine, answered
    The walnut tree dates back as far as 7000 B.C.E and has been cultivated ever since. Walnuts have numerous locations of origin. In the early days of Rome, they were considered food for the gods and were namedJuglans regiain honor of Jupiter. Today, walnuts are commonly called "English" walnuts, in reference to the English merchants whose ships transported the product for trade around the world. The English walnut originated around the Caspian Sea and in India and was brought to America.

    In contrast to the English walnut, the black walnut is native to North America, particularly the central Mississippi valley and Appalachian area. Black walnuts were a staple in the diets and lifestyles of both the Native Americans and the early colonial settlers.

    Besides being a food source, walnuts provide shelter and medicine, as well as dyes and lamp oil. The world's leading commercial producers of walnuts are the United States, China, France, Turkey, Romania, and Iran. California alone provides more than half of the world's production.

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    A , Internal Medicine, answered

    The food you eat can be broken into six main food groups. Each group contains different ratios of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. The six food groups are grains, fruits, vegetables, meats and meat substitutes, dairy products, and fats/ oils:

    • Grains are mostly carbohydrates, but they contain a little fat and protein.
    • Fruits are all carbohydrates with only a few exceptions (such as olives and avocados).
    • Vegetables are mostly carbohydrates but also contain a little protein.
    • Meats are a mixture of protein and fat. Meat substitutes are generally plant-based, made from nuts, seeds, beans, and lentils. Beans and lentils are generally low in fat, while nuts and seeds are high in fat; although the fat in nuts is healthy, the number of calories in each serving is quite high, so watch portions carefully.
    • Dairy products are a combination of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. They are actually quite high in fat, and because the fat is from an animal, it is of the unhealthy, saturated type. Try to get your dairy products in nonfat form when possible.
    • Fats and oils are 100 percent fats.
    • Sweets and treats aren't actually a food group, but they can be thought of as the seventh food category. They are made up of sugar or refined carbohydrates. Large amounts of saturated fats and trans fats are often found in these foods as well. Examples include cakes, cookies, chips, and candy.
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    Exchanges refer to the food groups used in the American Diabetes Association and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Exchange Lists for Meal Planning. Foods are categorized into three groups based on their nutritional content. Lists provide the serving sizes for carbohydrate, protein, and fat. These lists allow for substitution for different groups to keep the nutritional content fixed.

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    A , Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    The real key to transitioning from your current diet to eating whole foods is to pick one place at a time to make adjustments. This can be one meal, be it breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks, or it can be one type of ingredient, such as veggies, fats, or meats.

    Let's say you decide to start with breakfast. Personally, this is my favorite place to start because how you begin the day affects everything that comes after it. What's your typical breakfast? Maybe it's a bowl of cereal with milk. Maybe it's a bagel with cream cheese, a glass of orange juice, and a cup of coffee. Maybe it's a breakfast bar that you grab as you rush out the door. Maybe you like the greasy-spoon-style bacon and eggs.

    Whatever your breakfast is, consider how you could make it more healthy. If you eat cereal for breakfast, try some homemade muesli rather than what comes out of the box. If you eat instant oatmeal, try making your own, having soaked the oats the night before. If you like eggs and bacon for breakfast, look at the quality of the eggs you're eating and consider replacing the bacon with some veggies.

    If you don't want to start with a whole meal, start with something you eat often. For example, let's say you're a salad lover who buys dressing from the store. Start making your own dressing. That's one simple change you can make that will have a big impact.

    You can also do a scan of your eating habits, looking for the worst offenders. What in your diet offers the least nutritional value and is something you eat often? Is it potato chips to get you through the afternoon? Do you drink lots of diet soda? Choose something you reach for often but that probably isn't the healthiest thing you could eat. How can you replace that with something more healthy?
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