Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Eating Right

Are we looking for the magic pill for life, for being a better athlete, being more attractive, having prettier skin, being healthier? Look right in your own kitchen.
Have we forgotten how to eat? Breakfast should not a doughnut and Mountain Dew, lunch is not a fast food burger, and dinner is not something frozen you reheat in your oven.
We have gotten away from teaching the basic food groups, yes, the boring USDA Dietary Guideline Food Pyramid. How do you spice this thing up, so people can learn and remember it? Perhaps some video game or subliminal ad campaign during the Super Bowl? (Oh my goodness, can you imagine?)
Let's see if we can remember, but instead of thinking the pyramid levels going horizontally, try the slices going vertically, it's easier to visualize.
Protein: 3-3 ounce servings
Dairy: 3-8 ounce servings of low fat milk
Fruit/Vegetables: 5 servings of 1 cup each
Breads: 3 whole grain
Fats; 3-5-1 tablespoon servings; should be less than 20% of daily intake

If it were that easy we'd all have it down. However, now the fun begins...
What about yogurt? It is dairy.
What about cheese? It is dairy, but also high fat content.
What about fish, eggs, beans, lentils? All count for protein.
Where does alcohol fit in? Fats
What is the difference between a 2 year old and a 200 pound man? There are obvious differences, both in quantity of servings and size of servings.

Key: Eat a variety of food, preferably not the highly processed kind!

Want to see how you measure up? Google USDA Dietary Guidelines and to see if you are getting the right amount and kind of each food group or track your food consumption with either http://www.mypyramid.gov/ or http://www.fitday.com/. Both sites have free online food trackers.

Now, back to that magic pill: protein will help your athletic prowess, dairy will help your bones and teeth, hence your attractiveness, fruits and vegetables will help your skin and cancer fighting abilities (and is anti-aging!), breads/whole grains will help your energy level & digestion.

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