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Nutrition Services at Deborah–Using the Food Guide

“Think crispy, juicy, colorful, crunchy, lean and light,” states Deborah Heart and Lung Center Registered Dietitian Sue French. These words describe the food guide represented by the new and improved nutrition icon known as MyPlate. It was released in June 2011 by the United States Department of Agriculture and replaces the food pyramid. Every day eat crispy, juicy and colorful fresh fruits and vegetables, crunchy whole grains, lean meats and light dairy products.

The MyPlate icon shows a 9- or 10- inch dinner plate divided into 4 sections including fruits, vegetables, grains, and proteins with a small circle next to the plate representing dairy products. The icon allows people to see a dinner plate that gives a visual guide to proper food choices and portion control.

Quick Guide to Eating Right

For breakfast, use only half of the plate.

For lunch and dinner, use the whole plate.

Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables.

Divide the other half of the plate between grains and lean protein choices.

Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk or include other lower-fat dairy such as yogurt.

Enjoy your food, but eat less. Avoid oversized portions.

Use small amounts of added fats such as oil, margarine, or mayonnaise.

Make Half of Your Grains Whole
A healthful diet will include at least three ounces of whole-grain products each day.  One ounce is about one slice of bread, one cup of dry cereal, or a half-cup of cooked cereal, rice, or pasta.  Read food labels and look for whole wheat, barley, rye, corn, oats or oatmeal, millet, quinoa, brown or wild rice, and whole-grain pasta and cereals.  Be aware that food labels with the words “multi-grain,” “stone-ground,” “cracked wheat,” or “seven-grain” are usually not whole-grain foods. Good dietary sources have three to five grams of fiber per serving, while excellent sources have five grams or more.

 

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Eat Your Fruits and Vegetables
Adults should aim for eight to nine servings (a half-cup serving) of fruits and vegetables every day. Choose fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables more often than canned or juice. Shred vegetables, such as carrots or zucchini, into meat loaf or add chopped vegetables, such as broccoli and red peppers, to tomato sauce or casseroles.  Make a smoothie with fresh or frozen berries and low-fat yogurt.
 
Get Your Calcium-Rich Foods
Aim for at least two to three daily servings (usually 1 cup equals one serving) of fat-free or low-fat dairy foods per day.

Go Lean with Protein
Choose leaner cuts of beef (round steaks and roast, loin cuts, 90 percent lean ground), pork (center cut chops, loin cuts, lower salt ham), poultry (no skin), fish and shellfish (all except fried). You can substitute low-fat cheese for meat or try non-meat foods such as chick peas, lentils, beans, tofu and nuts for some meals.

In Summary
Overall, an eating plan low in saturated fat and rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, lean meats and dairy and a moderate fat intake of unsaturated fats contains the ingredients for a healthy meal plan. The real key to preventing disease and promoting health is a commitment to a lifestyle of regular physical activity and healthy eating.


Susan French, MS, RD, Clinical Nutrition Manager