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Nutrition Notes

Everyday Food, December 2008

Eating smart can be an easy balancing act when you follow these American Dietetic Association guidelines.

50 Percent Vegetables and Fruits
Filling half your plate with produce provides a healthy helping of vitamins, minerals, and other antioxidants. Because vegetables and fruits are usually low in calories and high in fiber, you can enjoy generous servings while reducing your risk of gaining weight. Try a wide variety in a broad range of colors to maximize nutritional benefits.

25 Percent Protein
Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, beans, and nuts are all sources of protein -- needed to build, maintain, and repair all cells. Aim to get most of your 25 percent from lean meats, skinless poultry, and fish. Enjoy in moderation foods that are high in protein as well as fat, such as heart-healthy nuts and calcium-rich cheese.

25 Percent Carbohydrates
Beans and other legumes, potatoes, rice, bread, and pasta contain complex carbohydrates. These foods are known to improve digestion, fuel the body, boost heart health, and even prevent certain cancers. When it comes to grain products, pick whole-grain versions whenever possible for maximum nutrition.

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