Last Monday, the government released a new set of dietary guidelines with, once again, an emphasis on the need to eat more vegetables and consume much less salt and less fats.
This time, the government voiced it’s concerns about obesity, not just with worry, but calling obesity a crisis situation for the state of our health and strength as a nation.
The food pyramid has been changed and will be reviewed later on this year by the Department of Health and Human Services.
If you just want to rely on the visual of what a typical meal should consist of, you can cover one half of your plate with vegetables and fruit and keep your grains whole and reduce the fats of your protein sources significantly, you’ll be started on the right track.
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Also, make sure that your milk serving is low fat or skim. Avoid processed foods as they are usually loaded with salt, another culprit in keeping us unhealthy with problems with blood pressure and chronic kidney disease.
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The emphasis of the new dietary guidelines is on plant based foods even as a major part of your protein source. Eating a variety of beans, nuts and seeds can be an especially effective method of obtaining a lean protein source for your dietary needs.
The USDA backed down on specifically mentioning the words “meat and cheese” because of concerns for the farming industry but did say to cut down on sources of saturated fats.
We, as a nation, have to address our diet and how it relates to chronic diseases that are so prevalent today such as diabetes, hypertension and chronic kidney disease.
From the age of two and up, the most prevalent source of calories for the typical American is cookies, cakes and pastries.
Among the other top 25 sources of calories for Americans age 19 and older are breads, soda, alcoholic beverages, fried potatoes, pasta dishes, candy and beef and beef mixed dishes.
Many others are mentioned on this list and as you can see, most are high sugar, high carbohydrate “empty” calories nutritionally speaking.
If we can start watching our caloric intake in small ways, such as choosing a baked chicken breast over the same amount of fried chicken, we can save a difference of 108 calories in that 3 ounce example alone.
Now, if you also,on that same day, opt for plain corn flakes in a one cup serving instead of the same amount of frosted flakes, you’ve saved 57 calories in your breakfast meal.
Starting to watch what you eat in little increments at a time can make a big difference in your health in the present tense and down the line as you get older.
This is the same message we’ve been hearing for quite a while now. The problem is Americans keep gaining and adding to their waistlines anyhow. The government is now trying to get us to listen and is focusing on obesity as a situation of serious health issues weakening us.
We need to respond to their reports seriously with a sincere desire to change our habits and behaviors when it comes to food issues.