These recommendations are based on the latest USDA's Economic Research Service, which showed that American’s are not meeting the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Based on the report, we have 6 simple changes you can do to make your diet better.
1. Eat fewer refined grains and more whole grains.
Limit bakery treats and other refined grains made with white flour. Start eating breakfast at home made with oatmeal or whole grain cereal. Choose brown rice and whole grain pasta for other meals. Pick 100% whole grain bread in place of white bread.
2. Increase fruits and vegetables all day every day.
Start eating fruit throughout the day for breakfast and snacks. Fruit can replace cookies and other treats that probably contain too much fat and sugar. Make sure you are eating plenty of vegetables at lunch and dinner.
3. Don’t forget the skim milk and yogurt.
Make sure you are getting about 3 cups of nonfat milk and or yogurt each day. Milk at breakfast and yogurt for snacks and desserts is a good plan!
4. Cut down on added fat in the diet.
Most Americans consume over 30% of their calories from added fats. The trouble is, this doesn’t include fat that is naturally found in food. Even a plain salad contains 10%?calories from fat and fatty foods like meat, nuts and dairy have much more. It is easy to eat too much fat when you are adding it to food in the way of oil, dressing, sauces and fried foods.
5. Lean out on protein.
Most people are getting enough protein. But they probably don’t choose wisely enough to choose lean cuts of meat, poultry without skin and fish that is not breaded. Choose lean when it comes to protein. And don’t forget to put beans in your diet 3 times per week - did you know that is what is called for in the DASH diet? And fish is called for 2 times per week. That leaves about 2 days for chicken and lean beef.
6. WHOA on the sugar!
Here is where most people really mess up. Many Americans are eating 30 teaspoons of sugar a day instead of the limit of 8. Sweet treats, soda, sugar added to coffee, it all adds up. Did you know that one large soda from a fast food restaurant can contain up to 50 teaspoons of sugar? That is almost a week’s supply! Cut out sugar in beverages because that is where you are least likely to notice the sugar missing. Choose smaller portions of treats and limit them to once a day. By choosing more fresh fruit you will lower the amount of sweet treats that you eat!
Required reading for better health:
DASH diet: nhlbi.nih.gov
Dietary Guidelines: health.gov
Nutrition facts label: fda.gov
USDA’s report: ers.usda.gov
Judy’s passion for cooking began with helping her grandmother make raisin oatmeal for breakfast. From there she earned her first food service job at 15, was accepted to the world-famous Culinary Institute of America at 18 (where she graduated second in her class), and went on to the Fachschule Richemont in Switzerland where she focused on pastry arts and baking. After a decade in food service for Hyatt Hotels, Judy launched Food and Health Communications to focus on flavor and health. She graduated with Summa Cum Laude distinction from Johnson and Wales University with a BS in Culinary Art, holds a master’s degree in Food Business from the Culinary Institute of America, 2 art certificates from UC Berkeley Extension, and runs a food photography studio where her love is creating fun recipes.
Judy received The Culinary Institute of America’s Pro Chef II certification, the American Culinary Federation Bronze Medal, Gold Medal, and ACF Chef of the Year. Her enthusiasm for eating nutritiously and deliciously leads her to constantly innovate and use the latest in nutritional science and Dietary Guidelines to guide her creativity, from putting new twists on fajitas to adapting Italian brownies to include ingredients like toasted nuts and cooked honey. Judy’s publishing company, Food and Health Communications, is dedicated to her vision that everyone can make food that tastes as good as it is for you.