New Healthy Eating Guidelines

Recently, the federal government released the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which updates the 2005 guidelines for healthy, balanced diets. Because of the growing obesity problem, the new guidelines focus on balancing calorie intake and physical activity to control weight. There is a focus on eating more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood. A major recommendation is to consume less sodium, as well as avoiding saturated and trans fats, added sugars and refined grains. 

These all sound like great recommendations. But how can you incorporate them into your daily lifestyle? It turns out it might not be too difficult to make some minor changes that will have a big impact on your health.

For starters, enjoy your food. It may sound counter-productive, but it’s not. If you take your time and savor your food, you will eat more slowly, giving your stomach time to register the fact that it is full. Overall, you’ll eat less, and it’s likely you’ll enjoy eating more.

Another recommendation is to fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables at meals. This way, you’ll be sure to get in the daily servings of fruits and vegetables. The water and fiber content in fresh produce will also fill you up more at meals.

When you go grocery shopping, check the labels for sodium content. Buy the products that have less sodium in them. This way, you can avoid eating extra sodium in everyday staples like bread.

Switch to drinking water instead of soda or other sugary drinks. This can cut out lots of unnecessary calories and sugars. Plus, drinking lots of water has other benefits, like healthier skin, fewer headaches, improved concentration, a happier mood and less fatigue.

Keep an eye out for the newest version of the Food Pyramid, which will be released later this year along with other helpful advice and tools for eating healthier.

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