Healthy Eating: A Resolution You Won’t Regret
We’ve got a research-based guide to healthy eating, based on the latest government recommendations. The “food pyramid” is out, and “my plate” is in.
A healthy diet can significantly reduce our risk of disease and have a positive impact on both health and longevity. However, we are so inundated by conflicting nutritional information that figuring out what “healthy” means isn’t as easy as it should be.
The U.S. government has revised its food pyramid to reflect emerging nutritional science, and uses a new “MyPlate” guideline to help people make the healthiest food choices. Here are the nutritional “MyPlate” basics, based on the latest medical research:
Fill half your plate with vegetables and fruits. Put the emphasis on the vegetables, and embrace a colorful variety. Do not, however, embrace French fries.
Fill one quarter of your plate with whole-grains including whole-wheat bread, whole-grain pasta, and brown rice. Limit refined grains like white rice and white bread.
The final quarter of your plate should be devoted to healthy protein. Great choices include fish, poultry, beans, and nuts. Red meat like beef, pork, or lamb and cheese are acceptable so long as you indulge in them no more than twice a week. Proteins to be avoided include bacon, cold cuts, hot dogs, and other processed meats because they raise the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and colon cancer.
Your best beverage choices are water, tea, or coffee without sugar. Limit milk and juice, and avoid all sugary drinks. Moderate alcohol consumption can have health benefits, but if you don’t drink, you shouldn’t feel that a glass of wine with dinner is a necessity.
Healthy oils like olive and canola oil, used in moderation, have their place for cooking and dressing salad. You can allow yourself butter as an occasional treat, but avoid trans fat.
Finally, avoid routine multivitamin supplements. Although some vitamins and minerals can be helpful to treat specifically diagnosed deficiencies, the research is now very clear that routine multivitamin supplementation as a “primary prevention” measure doesn’t offer any meaningful health benefits, and may even be harmful.
If you follow these guidelines as you fill your plate, you will be satisfying your body’s nutritional needs, and eating your way to good health. Bon appetit!
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