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New ideas for eating your best

New ideas on eating for your best health are direct, easy to follow

Detroit Free Press, Thu Mar 3, 2011
By Susan M. Selasky, Detroit Free Press

March 03–Shake the salt habit, especially in processed foods.

Eat more seafood, fruits and vegetables, and choose fat-free or low-fat dairy.
And please, get moving.

These are nuggets from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released in January by the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services. The guidelines have consumer-friendly but straight-to-the-point messages, like “enjoy your food, but eat less.”

“It’s more on weight management and balancing calories” to manage weight, says Bethany Thayer, a registered dietitian and wellness manager at Henry Ford Health System and national spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

The guidelines, released every five years, offer nutritional help to promote health and healthy lifestyles.

So, how are you measuring up?

Are you eating your two cups of fruits and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables a day? Have you curbed your sodium intake, keeping it below 2,300 milligrams (1,500 if you’re 51 or older, African American or have hypertension)?

Do you include more seafood as a lean source of protein?

March is deemed National Nutrition Month by the American Dietetic Association. So it’s a fine time to spring into action with nutrition advice on reaching the guideline goals from metro Detroit registered dietitians.

The ADA’s main message for National Nutrition Month is “Eat Right with Color.” The focus is on learning how to meet dietary needs by grouping healthy foods by color and knowing their nutritional value.

For example, green fruits such as avocados, apples, grapes and kiwis have antioxidant properties that may help promote healthy vision and reduce some cancer risks. You can find more examples from the ADA of eating the right colors at www.eatright.org.

“A rainbow of foods provides a variety of different nutrients with health benefits,” Thayer says. “And it makes your plate more colorful, and it’s fun and prettier to look at.”

Contact Susan M. Selasky at 313-222-6432 or sselasky@freepress.com.

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