The US Department of Agriculture recommends using the following serving guide to plan balanced meals.
Did you know… eating too many refined grains (white flour) can increase your risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease?
TIPS FOR CHOOSING HEALTHY GRAINS:
- When buying bread, look for “whole wheat” as the first ingredient listed
- Avoid white flour (white bread, flour tortillas and pastries)
- Choose brown rice over white rice
- Make “open faced” sandwiches with only one slice of bread
Did you know… some sources of protein are healthier than others?
TIPS FOR CHOOSING HEALTHY PROTEINS:
- Low fat dairy (cottage cheese, yogurt and milk) are good protein choices
- Beans (such as kidney, black, pinto, garbanzo, edamame and white beans) are very high in protein and fiber. Add these to soups, salads or other meals.
- Nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans and pistachios (choose a low salt option if possible)
Did you know… eating too much fat can cause heart disease, heart attacks, strokes and cancer?
|Say YES to:||Say NO to:|
|Fat free or 1% milk||Whole milk and cream|
|Skinless white meat chicken or turkey||Dark meat chicken and turkey with skin|
|Frozen yogurt or sorbetNon-stick cooking spray||Regular ice creamOil, shortening or lard|
|Small amounts of healthy (unsaturated) fats – nuts, avocado and olive oil||Unhealthy (saturated) fats from animal products – bacon, lard, Crisco, full fat dairy products|
HEALTHY COOKING TIPS:
- Trim all visible fat from meat before cooking
- Use lemon, herbs and spices instead of cheese, butter or creamy sauces
- Drain and rinse drippings from ground beef
- Oven bake on non-stick baking sheet instead of frying foods
- Instead of regular mayonnaise and cheese on sandwiches, try condiments like mustard, hot sauce or low fat mayonnaise
Did you know… many adults and children have too much sugar in their diets? Too much sugar can contribute to obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
TIPS TO REDUCE SUGAR INTAKE:
- Fruit juices contain a lot of sugar. Mix with water to lower your sugar intake
- Juices that advertise “No Added Sugar” still contain a lot of fructose (fruit sugar)
- Limit your intake of other sugary drinks, such as sodas, Gatorade, Koolaid and coffee beverages
- Substitute sugar free drinks, such as Crystal Light, sugar free Koolaid or low calorie Gatorade
- Switch regular soda for diet soda
- The best drink choice is always water! Drink six 8oz cups each day and more with exercise
- Many low-fat food items have added sugars- some examples include salad dressings, yogurts, desserts and sauces.
Did you know…many people get too much salt (or “sodium”) in their diets? Too much sodium can cause high blood pressure, which can lead to kidney failure, heart attacks and strokes?
TIPS TO REDUCE SALT INTAKE:
- Choose “reduced sodium” or “no added salt” versions of soups, sauces, frozen meals and cured meats (hot dogs, cold cuts, salami, etc)
- If possible, make your own soups and sauces with fresh ingredients and herbs to cut down on salt
- Drain and rinse canned vegetables and beans to reduce sodium content
- Instead of seasoning meals with salt, try hot sauces (Tabasco, Cholula, Sriracha), spices, herbs or “Mrs. Dash” (a salt free seasoning)