Healthful Food Suggestions
ChooseMyPlate.gov recommends that our meals include about an equal ratio of fruits and vegetables compared to grains and proteins. That means that you should make fruits and vegetables about half your plate.
Try eating whole grains rather than processed grains for added health benefits. “People who eat whole grains as part of a healthy diet have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Grains provide many [emphasis added] nutrients that are vital for the health and maintenance of our bodies” (ChooseMyPlate.gov). Whole grains also contain more nutrients and fill you up better than refined grains.
Fruits are a sweet, natural dessert and a much better option than junk food or candy because they contain nutrients and lack the refined sugars.
“A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can lower blood pressure, reduce risk of heart disease and stroke, prevent some types of cancer, lower risk of eye and digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar which can help keep appetite in check” (Harvard School of Public Health).
Fish such as salmon are another heart-healthy protein option. “The American Heart Association recommends eating fish (particularly fatty fish) at least two times (two servings) a week.”If you don’t eat meat, beans and peas are some alternative sources of protein.
If you don’t eat meat, beans and peas are some alternative plant sources for protein while still part of the vegetable food group.
Caloric Intake Guidelines
Ever wonder how many calories you should eat a day? This WebMD link shares the average calorie intake to “maintain energy balance” based on gender, height, and the amount of daily activity.
Learn What Your Food is Made of
USDA.gov has a food tracker called Food-A-Pedia. It is a great resource to track the nutritional content and calories of what you eat.
Also, don’t forget to prepare your food properly and wash your hands before eating!