Are You Getting the Nutrition You Need?

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The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) created MyPlate, which is a symbol to help with healthy food choices.

Here are suggestions for fulfilling the food groups represented on the nutrition plate.

  • Fruits—Any fruit or 100 percent fruit juice counts for this group.
  • Vegetables—Any vegetable or 100 percent vegetable juice counts for this group.
  • Grains—Examples of grains include bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, tortillas and grits.
  • Protein—All foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans, peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts and seeds are considered protein.
  • Dairy—Fluid milk products and many foods made from milk are in this group, such as cheese and yogurt.

Reading Food Labels

Learning to read food labels is also a crucial part of maintaining healthy eating habits. Reading labels allows you to make informed choices and compare the nutritional value of different foods. A good diet and an active lifestyle can help your body stay healthy and disease-free.

  • Serving size—A serving size is the recommended amount of a food that should be eaten by one person.
  • Calories—You should aim to get only about 30 percent of your daily calories from fat.
  • Percent daily values—These percentages tell you how one serving of food fits, nutritionally, into a daily diet of 2,000 calories. Keep in mind that necessary calorie amounts vary for each individual.
  • Nutrient list and amounts—Food companies must list the amount of fat, cholesterol, sodium, total carbohydrates, dietary fiber, sugars, protein, vitamins A and C, calcium and iron that are contained in one serving of a product. Some labels also display trans fats.

Getting the Nutrition your body needs will keep you on the path to accomplishing your goals. It will also ensure you have energy for all you want to do.

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