ABC's of Nutrition
By: Merle Brown, PhD, APN
A. Aim for fitness -- that means aim for a healthy weight and be physically active every day. A healthy weight is the key to a long, healthy life.
Engage in 30 minutes or more of physical activity each day.
B. Build a healthy base -- let the Food Guide Pyramid show you how. Get the vitamins, minerals, energy, and other healthful substances from foods your body needs
There are many healthful eating patterns. Different people like different foods and like to prepare the same foods in different ways.
C. Choose sensibly -- a variety of foods to help you get all the nutrients and fiber you need.
Choose a diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and moderate in total fat.
Low-fat dairy products, cooked dried beans and peas, fish, and lean meats and poultry.
What is the right fat?
The Guidelines encourage a diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and moderate in total fat. Healthy choices for fats are mono- or polyunsaturated fats found in foods like olive oil, peanuts, peanut butter, and fatty fish. Mono- and polyunsaturated fats do not raise blood cholesterol.
Where to start?
If you replace saturated fats in your diet with mono- or poly- unsaturated fats you may lower heart disease risk. Small portions go a long way. Use peanut butter on bagels or toast; snack on peanuts or make a healthful trail mix with dried fruit; and use olive-oil, canola, or peanut-oil based dressings on your salads.
Load Up on Nutrients, Not on Big Portions
The best way to get a variety of nutrients into your diet is to make every calorie count. Choosing foods that are nutrient dense will help protect against disease and keep you healthy. Mother Nature has created many foods that are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and phytosterols (plant chemicals important to health). Fruits, vegetables, whole grain products, beans, and nuts, including peanuts, contain important nutrients like niacin, folic acid, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, and vitamin E.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans
American Dietetic Association