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A Healthful Diet
Meeting Daily Nutritional Guidelines - Tips
Servings and Serving Sizes
Calcium and Iron
Fruits and Vegetables
Meeting Daily Nutritional Guidelines - Helpful Tips
Below are some useful hints about how to increase and decrease certain food groups and nutritional components in your daily diet.
- Avoid getting the majority, or all, or your protein from animal products. Meats, although high in protein, are often high in fat. Introduce more legumes, nuts, fish, tofu and bean curd into your diet.
- Start concentrating more on complex carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates, such as grains, have the added advantage of being excellent sources of fiber. Eating more complex carbohydrates is an excellent way to ensure the body has continuous, sufficient energy throughout the entire day.
- Watch the fat intake! When using fat, try to pick monounsaturated sources of fat, such as olive oil. Try to choose 'low-fat' dairy products and eat only the suggested amounts of cheeses and meats, in small portions.
- Keep in mind - the most significant cause of high cholesterol is saturated fat. Although you want to limit cholesterol intake, watching your fat intake will often do this for you.
- Avoid processed foods as much as possible. Processed foods contain very high levels of sodium. There is nothing wrong with using salt in cooking or salting food - but only small amounts. Use less salt and taste your food!
- Always purchase breads and grains that clearly state the word "whole" on the label. This will ensure you're getting the maximum amount of fiber from this food as possible. As well, eat more fruit and vegetables. Much recent research - and more and more every day - is clearly showing the positive health benefits of eating lots of fiber. Estimates state that under 10% of Americans get the recommended amount of daily fiber.
Most importantly, remember - variety! Eat lots of different foods from all food groups throughout the day, every day.
The U.S. Government's Food and Nutrition Information Center offers detailed information about nutritional guidelines for Americans. The National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases offers excellent resources on nutrition and other health issues.
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