We just looked at the essential nutrients (macronutrients and micronutrients) needed to maintain optimal health, but how else can we know what a healthy plate looks like? The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) offers MyPlate as a framework that includes tips, ideas, and recommendations to create a healthy eating style. No matter what your individual needs may be, MyPlate can help find the right balance for you by including the five food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy.
For more information on each of the food groups click the MyPlate.
Additionally, take note of the following tips MyPlate suggests in order to sustain a healthy eating style.
- Focus on all food and beverage choices, each decision matters.
Variety is the key. Include different types of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy products when planning or preparing meals.
- Reduce your intake of saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars.
Use nutrition labels and ingredient lists to find the amount of saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars in your meals.
- Take it one step at a time and do not try to make big changes straight away.
Start with small changes and progress from there. For example, adding more vegetables into your meals or changing to low-fat dairy products.
- Provide support and healthy choices for those around you.
Creating an environment of healthy choices for you and others around you will help make your journey to a healthy eating style easier and more enjoyable.