Tag: eating

USDA MyPlate

The USDA MyPlate was based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. MyPlate was designed to help American consumers eat healthfully and make better food choices. The image has been changed from a pyramid to a more familiar place setting visual to show the five food groups: vegetables, fruits, grains, protein, and dairy.

Vegetables and Fruit

  • Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, putting the emphasis on the vegetables. Always vary your choices so you get a good range of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, and other nutrients found in different produce. Choosing dark leafy greens and red, yellow, and orange produce gives you the variety of nutrients your body needs.
  • Choosing whole fruits and vegetables over juices increases your intake of fiber, decreases your calorie intake, and keeps you full longer!
  • Aim for 9 or more servings of vegetables and fruit per day. Keep in mind that about one cup raw or ½ cup cooked vegetables or fruit counts as a serving.
    Try something new: Try sautéing rainbow Swiss chard with oil, garlic, and lemon.
    Grains
  • One quarter of your plate should include a whole grain. Options include whole wheat bread, brown rice, oats, quinoa, whole-grain pasta, bulgur, barley, and many others.
  • Try to limit your intake of refined grains like white rice and white bread. Refining grains removes the endospore and bran of the grain; along with it goes the fiber, B vitamins, and vitamin E.
  • Try something new: Quinoa is a delicious (gluten-free) whole grain that’s easy to make: just follow the simple instructions on the box then try adding some toasted pine nuts and feta cheese crumbles.

Protein

  • Fill a quarter of your plate with lean proteins like fish, poultry, legumes, beans, and nuts.
  • Choose red meat, cold cuts, and processed meats like sausage and bacon less often.
  • Animal protein contains more saturated fat than plant protein. By choosing plant protein options such as beans, legumes, nuts, and tofu, you are choosing less fat and more vitamins and minerals. You even get extra fiber when you choose plant sources of protein.
  • The USDA recommends 5-6 ounce equivalents of protein in a day.
  • Try something new: Lentils are a great source of protein and fiber. They taste great in soups, as a lentil salad, or mixed into pasta sauce.

Dairy/Calcium-Enriched Products

  • Include 2 or 3 servings of low fat dairy or calcium-enriched products per day.

    Try something new: Kefir is a probiotic-rich yogurt drink that is great by itself or mixed into a fruit smoothie.

Other things to remember

  • Try to limit your intake of added sugars. The USDA recommendation for individuals who need 2000 calories per day is 260 “discretionary calories” or “empty” calories. These include not only added sugar but solid fats as well. These empty calories provide no nutrients, only added calories. They can be avoided by choosing nonfat milk instead of whole milk, avoiding sugary cereal and soft drinks, as well as other sweets, fried foods, and high fat foods like cheese and red meat. Choose unsweetened beverages, baked fish or chicken instead of fried, and smaller portions of naturally high fat foods like cheese.
  • Include healthier oils such as olive oil and other plant oils with your meals and limit saturated and trans fat. In general, oils (liquid at room temperature) are full of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which have more health benefits than the saturated and trans fats found in solid sources of fat like butter, margarine, lard, and partially hydrogenated oil.
  • Remember to always stay active! While no longer part of the official MyPlate, physical activity remains as important as ever. The USDA recommends 2 ½ hours of physical activity per week for adults. Physical activity should include both aerobic activity and strengthening exercises. For children, the recommendation is one hour of physical activity each day of the week.

One Reason Why You Regain Weight Easily After Weight Loss

There has been a lot of talk about weight loss with the start of the New Year! There was even a great article written in the New York Times called The Fat Trap which referenced an article by Sumithran et al (2011) that studied the long term changes in hormones from diet induced weight loss. They stated that although dietary restrictions will often result in initial weight loss, most obese dieters will fail to maintain this weight loss.

In their study they looked at a group of 50 overweight or obese patients who were put on an extremely low energy diet (~550 kcal per day). Food intake and energy expenditure is regulated by a lot of hormones released by the body; so they decided to measure these hormones & appetite before the low energy diet, at week 10 and again at week 62.

They found that when a person diets to lose weight the body releases a lot of hormones within the body to slow down energy burn, store energy, and increase appetite; and that many of these alterations in hormones can last for 12 months after the weight loss and even after the onset of weight regain. This would suggest that there is a strong physiological response to regain that weight after you lose it…but that does not mean you are doomed to regain the weight. What it does mean is that you MUST work to create healthy habits and lifestyle changes to combat the weight regain. An interesting part of the study is that they did not include exercise in the weight loss regiment. Exercise can release many hormones to create satiety and curb that hunger. Exercise will obviously burn calories and release hormones to break up those stores of fat and energy within your body. This is why most health professionals will recommend a weight loss including exercise and diet as a regiment.

Weight loss doesn’t come easy or fast, there is no magic pill. My old college football coach has a great saying; “Hard work works.” Get in the gym, eat right and try to create health habits; and no matter what your genetic make up or hormone issues, 99% of it will be taken care of through hard work. For more information about effective weight loss habits, please contact Fitness Director, Jacob Galloway.

Kale & Apple Salad with Pancetta & Maple Roasted Pecans

Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 2 cups maple roasted pecans- recipe below
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 ounces thickly sliced pancetta, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons caper brine (from a jar of capers)
  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Granny Smith apples, cut into matchsticks
  • 1 large head radicchio, shredded
  • One 8-ounce bunch kale—stems discarded, leaves finely shredded
  • 3 tablespoons snipped chives
  • 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
  • 2 ounces shaved pecorino cheese

In a skillet, heat the oil with the pancetta and cook over moderate heat, stirring frequently, until the pancetta is browned, 6 minutes. Strain the pan drippings into a large bowl; whisk in the vinegar, caper brine and maple syrup and season the dressing with salt and black pepper. Add the apples, radicchio, kale, chives, tarragon and pecorino and toss. Mound the salad on plates, garnish with the pecans and pancetta and serve.

MAPLE ROASTED PECANS

  • 2 T vegetable oil
  • 1 pound pecans (3 ½ cups)
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper if desired

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly oil a 10” x 15” baking pan. Mix all ingredients and put onto pan in a single layer. Bake for 5 minutes and stir. Bake 5 more minutes and stir again. Bake for about 5 more minutes or until all of the syrup has crystallized, being careful not to overcook as they will burn quickly after they are done.
Put roasted nuts on a clean lightly oiled pan to cool.

Adapted from FoodandWine.com