10 Things You Need to Know About the New USDA Guidelines
Dietary Guidelines from the USDA
The USDA just released a document outlining new eating guidelines for Americans. But just what do these guidelines mean and how can we incorporate them in our everyday eating habits?
We break it down for you and provide recipes that will help you eat healthier in 2011.
Lower Your Sodium
Lowering your sodium intake to less than 2,300 milligrams (about 1 teaspoon) is one of the key recommendations. For people who already have hypertension, diabetes, and other illnesses, this number drops to less than 1500 mg a day.
Make the Switch to Fat-Free or 1% Milk
Only babies and children under 2 should be drinking whole milk. Everyone else should switch to low-fat or fat-free milk products.
Eat More Seafood
Increase seafood consumption (both the amount and the variety should be increased) and reduce consumption of other animal products.
Consume More Whole Grains
At least half the grains you consume should be whole grains. Do this by replacing refined grains with whole grains.
Cut Down on Saturated Fats
Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids. This means that we need to cut down consumption of animal products, dairy, eggs and also of processed foods (trans fats hide under the guise of hydrogenated oil in processed foods). We need to replace these with good fats like monounsaturated fatty acids (found in walnuts, pistachios, avocadoes and olive oil) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (found in salmon, fish oil, safflower oil etc).
Lower Your Dietary Cholesterol Consumption
Consume less than 300 mg per day of dietary cholesterol. Dietary cholesterol comes from animal and dairy products but not from fruits and vegetables. So basically this means less meat and more plants!
Reduce Added Sugars
Read nutrition labels to look for added sugars. Beware! Added sugars often "hide" behind less common monikers. Look for these varieties in your ingredient list: brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose, fruit juice concentrates, glucose, high fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, lactose, maltose, malt syrup, molasses, raw sugar, sucrose, and syrup.
Use oils to replace solid fats like butter, tallow, shortening and margarine.
Eat More Fruit
Nearly everyone can stand to increase their fruit intake. The USDA recommends about four 1/2-cup servings of fruit a day.
Eat Your Vegetables!
Increase your intake of vegetables including leafy greens, peas, and other brightly colored veggies.
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