"Vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins and low-fat dairy products contain the nutrients we need to maintain healthy lifestyles," says registered dietitian and Academy spokesperson Andrea Giancoli. "Make sure your eating plan includes foods from all the food groups and in appropriate portions. The USDA's MyPlate is a great tool to guide and help us be mindful of the foods that make up our balanced eating plan."
the following recommendations to "Get Your Plate in
your plate fruits and vegetables.
variety of vegetables, especially dark-green, red
and orange varieties, as well as beans and peas.
canned vegetables, choose "reduced sodium" or "no
salt added" whenever possible. Rinsing whole
varieties like beans, corn and peas can also reduce
frozen fruits and those canned in water or their own
juice are good options when fresh varieties are not
every meal and snack has at least one fruit or
vegetable or both.
least half your grains whole.
rice, barley and oats and other whole grains for
your sides and ingredients.
100-percent whole-grain breads, cereals and
ingredients list on food packages to find foods that
are made with whole grains.
fat-free or low-fat milk.
low-fat milk have the same amount of calcium and
other essential nutrients as whole milk, but less
fat and fewer calories.
If you are
lactose intolerant, try lactose-free milk or a
calcium-fortified soy beverage.
variety of foods each week from the protein food
group like seafood, nuts and beans, as well as lean
meat, poultry and eggs.
plant-based proteins such as nuts, beans, whole
grains and whole soy foods like tofu and edamame.
twice a week, make fish and seafood the protein on
and poultry portions lean and limit to three ounces
Cut back on
sodium and empty calories from solid fats and added
instead of sugary drinks like regular sodas,
fruit-flavored drinks and sweetened teas and
coffees. Choose 100-percent fruit juice.
sodium in foods and choose those with the least
amount listed on the Nutrition Facts Panel.
with spices or herbs instead of salt.
cuts of meat or poultry and fat-free or low-fat
heart-healthy oils like olive, canola and sunflower
oil in place of butter or shortening when cooking.
recommends cooking more often at home, where you are in
control of what is in your food. "And don't forget that
exercise and healthful eating are crucial to maintaining
a healthy lifestyle," Giancoli says. "Choose activities
you enjoy like going for a walk with your family,
joining a sports team, dancing or playing with your
children. If you donít have a full 30 minutes, carve out
10 minutes three times a day. Every bit adds up and
health benefits increase the more active you are."
As part of
National Nutrition Month, the Academy of Nutrition and
Dietetics' National Nutrition Month Web site includes
helpful tips, recipes, fun games, promotional tools and
nutrition education resources, all designed to spread
the message of good nutrition around the "Get Your Plate
in Shape" theme.
The Academy of Nutrition and
Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association)
is the world's largest organization of food and
nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to
improving the nation's health and advancing the
profession of dietetics through research, education and
advocacy. Visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
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