Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New US Dietary Guidelines

I guess every 5 years the US Govt puts out new dietary guidelines. I can't say that I recall prior updates, but maybe they changed the food pyramid last time a bit? Not sure. At any rate, the new info recently published is quite different I think. It is more of a 'how to get healthy' guide booklet, pretty in depth and is actually pretty well written.

They have a whole chapter on what types of foods to add, such as making 1/2 of your grain intake whole grains. They also explain how to properly read food labels to find out what's really in the foods you're buying.

A lot of the recommendations are common sense, like eat less, eat more fruits and veges and cut back on the fat and sodium. But there is a bunch that I didn't know...for example, when they say to increase your intake of beans, they are not referring to green beans:

Beans and peas are the mature forms of legumes. They include kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), lima beans, black-eyed peas, split peas, and lentils.

So for lunch today, I had some leftover no-yolk egg noodles (will search for whole grain stuff next trip to the store) from last night and wanted to add something to it. I found a can of black beans, checked the label and saw that there are 3 servings in there and the whole can would be about 1000mg of sodium, so instead of just pouring it in as is, I drained the beans in water to hopefully remove a good portion of the sodium and poured it on the noodles and it actually is quite tasty!


Among the dietary recommendations are:

In general, avoid "oversized" portions.

Drink water instead of beverages containing sugar.

Eat more fruits and vegetables. A good rule of thumb is that half the food on your plate should be fruits and vegetables.

Consume less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol each day.

Alcohol should be consumed only in moderation, which means up to one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

Consume more fat-free or low-fat dairy products, such as low-fat milk, yogurt and cheese.

Consume more seafood; cold water fish such as Salmon, Mackerel and Herring are best. Use it to replace some meat and poultry. Breast-feeding women should consume 8 to 12 ounces of seafood per week from a variety of sources. But they should limit intake of white tuna to 6 ounces per week because of its high mercury content and eat no tilefish, shark, swordfish and king mackerel for the same reason.


I also read an article over the weekend about broccoli stating that you need to lightly steam the broccoli in order to maintain the good cancer fighting ingredients. It's also best to add in some broccoli sprouts to increase those cancer fighting compounds. We have one of the 'basket' steamers and it works really well and I think it tastes much better that way too. Between dinner Sunday, Monday and Tuesday I've eaten more vegetables than probably the last two weeks, yea veggies! If only pasta were a vegetable...I'd be the healthiest guy on the planet.

They also have a section about exercise. "Less than 5 percent of adults participate in 30 minutes of physical activity each day, with slightly more meeting the recommended weekly goal of at least 150 minutes." That's 30 minutes 5 days a week, something that I'm not quite at yet on a consistent basis, but that I will strive for. If I do the walk around the community today like I plan, I'll be at 150 minutes this week, counting Sunday as the start of my week. Guess it's not so bad, just have to plan it into your schedule.

All in all I'm pretty impressed. Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think!

2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines


Jen said...

Great article. I have learned that I like most of the "other beans" legumes category. I also LOVE salmon and just recently figured it out. We're eating 2 portions of it a week on the p90x diet. My 1 cup a night of wild rice and Quinoa are satisfying my pasta cravings so far. Have you heard of Quinoa? It is an amino acid-rich (protein) seed that has a fluffy, creamy, slightly crunchy texture and a somewhat nutty flavor when cooked. Read more here http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?dbid=142&tname=foodspice

Chris said...

Hmm...no I haven't heard of Quinoa. The description doesn't make we want to go out and try it with a creamy/crunchy texture and nutty flavor, since I don't like nuts. But I do need to find some whole grain alternatives to regular pasta and white breads. Are there whole grain pastas out there that taste good too? Which wild rice do you like?

Mock family said...

I've completely went whole grain pastas, you get used to flavor I prefer it now

Ginny said...

All this sounds great but it is expensive. Whole grain pasta and salmon can wreak your budget. But if we stop drinking then we can use that money.

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes