An Understandable
Healthy Eating Guide

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How do your choices stack up against healthy eating guidelines?

No doubt you've heard about the "food groups" before.



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The government provides a guide to good nutrition in the form of the "food pyramid" that suggests how many servings from each food group we are supposed to eat every day.

You should know however, that the food pyramid is partly the result of political influence... what you think is good for you may actually just be a reflection of what's best for a particular industry...say the beef industry for example.

Here's a great book if you want to know more about that...

Food Politics by Marion Nestle.

One thing the food pyramid gets right though is that no single food can provide you all the nutrients you need, so it's important to eat a variety of foods from a variety of food groups.

You will, however, find conflicting opinions on various foods that appear in the food pyramid and also on exactly how much you should eat from each food group to achieve optimal health. (Is it any wonder food and nutrition information is so confusing?)

So as your personal nutrition guide (meet me), I offer you a simple approach to the various food groups.

Healthy Eating Guide to the Vegetable Group

raw or cooked vegetables, vegetable juice
How much to eat:
LOTS!!! You could never overeat these!!
What to avoid/limit:
frying (ex: fried zucchini or onion rings) or dousing them with fatty sauces (cheese sauce on broccoli)

Healthy Eating Guide to the Fruit Group

fresh, dried, frozen or juice
How much to eat:
What to avoid/limit:
Canned fruit in heavy syrup, frozen fruit or juice with added sugar

Healthy Eating Guide to the Grain Group

whole wheat bread, whole grain cereal, oats, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, corn, barley
How much to eat:
moderate amounts
What to avoid/limit:
frying them, eating large portion sizes or smothering them with fatty toppings and spreads (too much butter on bread or cream sauce on pasta)

Healthy Eating Guide to the Protein Group

poultry, fish, beans, soyfoods (edamame, tofu, tempeh), nonfat/lowfat cheese, eggs and egg whites, lean meat
How much to eat:
moderate amounts and choose lowfat versions
What to avoid/limit:
visible fat on meat, fatty cuts of meat, skin on poultry, fried varieties, excessive portions (yes, a 16oz steak is excessive, sorry!)

Healthy Eating Guide to the Dairy Group

nonfat/lowfat milk, yogurt, cheese, or calcium fortified soymilk or rice milk
How much to eat:
moderate amounts, and choose nonfat or lowfat varieties
What to avoid/limit:
full fat varieties (whole milk, full fat yogurt)

Healthy Eating (Be Careful Here) Guide to the Fat Group

nuts, seeds, avocado, olives, oils
How much to eat:
small amounts, choosing fats that are of plant origin
What to avoid/limit:
fat of animal origin (butter, cream, cream cheese, lard)

Exactly how much of each food group you need to eat evey day is dependent on your calorie requirement, the types of exercise you engage in, and your health goals.

If you feel like you need more help with specifics, you can contact me for 1 to 1 nutrition counseling.

The Healthy Eating section.

Your Personal Nutrition Guide home.

Refresh yourself on the the government's healthy eating guidelines: the food pyramid.

Eating healthfully is one way to try and stave off diabetes, which is epidemic! Do you have any of the early warning signs of diabetes?