March is National Nutrition Month®. Let’s be aware of how we eat to see if we are practicing healthy eating styles. “Savor the Flavor” is the theme for this month, but in addition to flavor, let’s think about what type of foods we put on our plates as we take a look at the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Eat Right with MyPlate.¹ These guidelines suggest fruits and vegetables take up one-half of your plate. The other half of the plate can be split with proteins and grains or desserts. When choosing grains, look for whole-grain foods such as brown rice and whole wheat breads or pastas. Limit desserts to avoid high-calorie intake. Because half of your plate will be fruits and vegetables and 25% of your plate will come from whole-grain foods, you are more likely to feel full and less likely to crave high calorie desserts. The dietary guidelines also recommend using a variety of protein choices in your diet. Try seafood, beans and peas, unsalted nuts and seeds, soy products, eggs and lean meats and poultry for a healthier style of eating.
Along with your Eat Right with MyPlate style of eating, the guidelines recommend fat-free or low fat dairy choices. Yogurts, cheeses and milk are all available in lower fat choices. This reduces calories and helps to balance out fat intake. Drink and eat less sodium, saturated fats, and added sugars to complete the recommended guidelines. Lastly, as part of National Nutrition Month®, don’t forget to “Savor the Flavor” of meals and be mindful when dining.
¹ United States Department of Agriculture, Jan 2016, http://www.choosemyplate.gov/MyPlate