Watch Out for Hidden Calories

Nancy Copperman, RD

Of the top five major sources of calories for adults, only two foods are good sources of protein, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. They are chicken and yeast breads. The rest of the foods--grain-based desserts (for example: cookies, cakes, pies, muffins) and sweetened sodas, energy drinks and alcoholic beverages--are not a significant source of nutrition, but they are a significant source of calories. So try to cut down on portion sizes and frequency of these foods and instead to replace them with fruit, water, flavored seltzers and decaffeinated iced tea flavored with sliced lemons, lines, oranges and mint.

Top 5 Sourcees of Calories

Improve the quality of chicken dishes and yeast breads (for example, bagels, croissants, fruit breads) by considering the following:

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Think “MyPlate” for Healthy Eating

Nancy Copperman, RD

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) just announced a new graphic, MyPlate, to help Americans follow the recently released 2010 Dietary Guidelines. The Dietary Guidelines are issued and updated every 5 years by the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services. They provide advice for Americans ages 2 and older about consuming fewer calories, making informed food choices, and being physically active to attain and maintain a healthy weight, reduce risk of chronic disease and promote overall health.

MyPlate replaces the familiar Food Pyramid that many of us have seen on food packaging and posters. MyPlate is a picture of a plate divided into protein, fruit, vegetables and grains portions accompanied by a serving of dairy. Every time we serve our food onto a plate at mealtime for ourselves and families, we can try to recreate the MyPlate foods and portion sizes.

MyPlate emphasizes:

  • Enjoy your food, but eat less.
  • Avoid oversized portions.
  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1 percent) milk.
  • Make at least half your grains whole grains.
  • Compare sodium in food like soup, bread, and frozen meals, and choose food with lower sodium content.
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
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