You know that eating right is important, but it can be challenging to find a healthy diet that works for your lifestyle. With so much conflicting information in the media about the right foods to eat, it might help to get back to the basics. Here are some of the elements to consider when you’re making a healthy eating plan, based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. This document is updated every five years by a coalition of public health professionals, and serves as the primary source for nutrition planning for the entire nation.
Of course, at the Sajune Institute for Restorative and Regenerative Medicine in Orlando, we tailor each nutrition and weight loss program to meet the unique needs of the individual. However, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans document is a good foundation to have.
Foods to Include
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans breaks its key recommendations into “Foods to Include” and “Foods to Avoid.” Americans should strive to eat a variety of these foods within an appropriate daily calorie range:
- Vegetables of a variety of colors and types (for example, green leafy vegetables, red bell peppers and potatoes)
- Whole grains
- Fat-free or low-fat dairy
- A variety of proteins, including nuts and seeds, soy, seafood, lean meats and poultry, legumes and eggs
Foods to Avoid
Under these guidelines, you should limit consumption of saturated fats and trans fats, foods with added sugars and too much sodium. Specifically, less than 10 percent of the calories you eat each day should be from added sugars and less than 10 percent from saturated fat. In addition, sodium intake should be under 2,300 milligrams per day.
Preparing the Perfect Plate
The United States Department of Agriculture has developed the MyPlate resource as a way to visualize the five food groups that should make up each meal. While specific serving sizes vary, you should fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables (with a bit more vegetables than fruit) and the other half with whole grains and protein (with slightly more grains than protein). This schematic can help you visually measure correct portion sizes so you’re sure to get a balance of the nutrients you need to be healthy and prevent disease.
Making just one or two small lifestyle changes when it comes to nutrition can make it easier to stick to a healthy diet for the long-term. At the Sajune Institute for Restorative and Regenerative Medicine in Orlando, our team of experienced professionals can come up with a personalized nutrition program that can work for you. Contact us today to schedule a consultation to get started.