Making healthful food choices doesn’t require a complicated set of rules or dietary “exchanges.” The challenge for many of us lies in the temptation and convenience of high-calorie, highly processed foods laden with sugar, salt, and trans fats. The quick carry-out, the bucket of chicken, the pizza delivery, or that yummy mocha latte may be okay once in while, but a steady diet of those foods not only leads to added pounds, it can also set you up for other serious health risks later. The U.S. Department of Agriculture published an updated “food pyramid” and guidelines to help Americans make wiser food choices. Briefly, the best food choices are minimally processed, whole foods. Build your daily food choices around the following:
- Whole grains (breads, cereals, rice, pasta, and snacks)
- Vegetables (especially dark green and orange)
- Fruit (fresh, frozen, canned, dried, juice)
- Dairy products (non-fat or low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese)
- Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans/peas/lentils, nuts, and eggs)
- Healthful oils found in nuts, fish, avocado, cooking oils, and salad dressings
When purchasing packaged foods, be sure to read the nutrition label to see how much salt, sugars, or trans fats they contain.
Source: U.S. Department of Agriculture – www.mypyramid.gov.
Note: The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company provides this information to encourage healthful lifestyles, and does not dispense medical advice.