If you are a regular reader of my blog and try to apply some of my suggestions to your every-day life, I think you'd agree that we are doing well in terms of meeting the new USDA dietary guidelines! Not to mention, meeting the guidelines while pursuing an active, multi-sport lifestyle...and balancing the rest of life! YAY for eating more plant-based meals! Keep up the great work!
Key points from the new USDA dietary guidelines:
-WHAT you eat and HOW you eat, both matter in overall diet and health.
-Have a snack before you head out to a party
-Enjoy your food, but eat less
-Avoid oversized portions
-Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
-Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk (1%)
-Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread and frozen meals - and choose the foods with lower numbers (the average intake of salt from Americans is 3,400 mg/d. Recommendations are 1,500 mg/d for high risk groups and 2,300 mg/d for all others).
-Drink water instead of sugary drinks
-Eat more fruits and vegetables and consume at least half of all grains as whole grains.
-Choose a variety of proteins, including beans, peas and soy products.
*Eat more whole grains, vegetables, fruits, low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt and cheese or fortified soy beverages, vegetables oils such as canola, corn, olive, peanut and soybean and seafood. Eat less added sugars, solid fats (including trans fats), refined grains and sodium.
*Reduce sodium consumption to 1,500 mg/d (about 2/3 tsp of salt) and no more than 2,300 mg/d. High risk individuals (51 yrs or older, African Americans and individuals with a history of high blood pressure, kidney problems or diabetes).
-Consume less than 10% of calories from saturated fatty acids and replace with monunsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Focus on the type of fat, not the overall amount. Reduce consumption of solid fats and increase liquid fats such as oils as well as plant-based foods, like nuts, seeds, olives and avocados. Also, consume omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids like cold-water fish (aim for at least 8 ounces of seafood each week).
*A healthy eating pattern limits intake of sodium, solid fats, added sugars, and refined grains and emphasizes nutrient-dense foods and beverages—vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products,3 seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, and nuts and seeds.
*To curb the obesity epidemic and improve their health, many Americans must decrease the calories they consume and increase the calories they expend through physical activity.
Here is the link to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines.
2010 Dietary Guidelines
I don't think it is necessary to read the entire 112 pg document. However, in order to stay up-to-date with scientific and practical guidelines/information, I recommend reading a few of the chapters so that you have a little educational background when it comes to hearing "myths" or ads/commercials for "quick fixes" when it comes to your health and/or weight loss. For my blog readers, who like to live a healthy and active lifestyle, I think you will find some of the pages very helpful and informative. Take a little time to read the following pages so that you can start finding what may work best for you and your lifestyle and athletic needs/goals.
Chapter 1, pg 5 - Importance of the Dietary Guidelines for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
Chapter 2, pg 13-17 - Calorie Balance: Food and beverage intake and Physical Activity
Chapter 3, pg 32 - Chapter summary of foods and food components to reduce
Chapter 4, pg 33-40 - Foods and Nutrients to increase
Chapter 5, pg 46-53 - Building healthy eating patterns. Principles for achieving a healthy eating pattern and putting the principles for a health eating pattern into action (pg 52 has a section on vegetarian adaptations of the USDA food patterns)
Chapter 6, pg 59 - Resource list for helping Americans make healthy choices
The appendix list is on pg 8 of the guide. There are several great resources located on this page, such as food safety principles (p 62), using the food label (p. 73) and lacto-ovo vegetarian adaptations of the USDA food patterns (p. 81). You can also find selected food sources of potassium, fiber, calcium and vitamin D.