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What's On Your Plate?

                                                  What's On Your Plate?  

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  Every five years the government issues guidance on what to eat and what not to eat for good health. For the first time, the new 2010 United States Dietary Guidelines (DG) are based on foods and lifestyle choices to reduce the escalating obesity and type 2 diabetes epidemics. Recommendations are centered on the latest and strongest scientific evidence associated with diet, nutrition and health.

Total diet approach:

-Eat the right number of calories to achieve or maintain a healthy weight.
-Go for foods that are rich in nutrients.
-Balance the food choices with a lifestyle of regular physical activity.
-Keep portion sizes within check to help maintain a healthy weight. Check out the dietaryguidelines.gov for recommended portion sizes.
-Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low fat dairy, lean meat, omega rich seafood (8 ounces/week), nuts, beans and healthy fats.
-Eat less refined grains, sugar, salt (sodium), trans fats, cholesterol and saturated fats.
-Avoid solid fats (SoFAS) and added sugars.
Examples of solid fats include butter, lard, hydrogenated oils, animal fats and coconut oil. Added sugars include all kinds of sweeteners from sucrose to agave.
-Eat less overly processed foods and refined grains, especially those with added sugars and solid fats, as they tend to contain higher amounts of sodium, added sugars and solid fats like those found in cakes, cookies, pastries, crackers and more.
-Hold the salt - Many experts say we consume way too much salt or sodium, which is a risk factor for chronic diseases like hypertension (high blood pressure).

Making healthier decisions will be easy if you use the simple plate method to make sure half your plate is covered with fruits and vegetables, one quarter with grains (at least half of them whole grains), and the last quarter with lean protein (animal sources or plant proteins from nuts, legumes, tofu). Complement the plate with a source of fat free or low fat dairy. Visit choosemyplate.gov to learn more.
 
"Watching Your Back,"
Your Health Coach,

Dr. Ross Coccimiglio

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