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Healthy Eating: It all starts with your plate

This summer, the USDA announced its new food icon. The food pyramid has been replaced with a plate.

Looking at the plate icon, it provides the food groups that you should include at each meal (fruits, grains, vegetables, protein and dairy). It is a much simpler symbol than the food pyramid. At each meal, look at your plate and compare it to the Choose My Plate. Remember, even though the plate is divided into four sections, the servings are not proportional. Every person has different nutritional needs based on age, health, activity level and other factors.

Plan to visit the website: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/. Many health professions have researched and written the information on this website. Included on the opening page is a box on the right side of the page which lists some important links. If you click on “Get a Personalized Plan”, a pop-up box will ask some questions and then the website is programmed to provide you with a personalized heart healthy food plan. It also provides a “My Tracker” that will help you keep a food record to match your personalized plan.

Seven points to remember from Choose my Plate:

  1. Enjoy your food, but eat less.
  2. Avoid over-sized portions.
  3. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
  4. Choose whole grains.
  5. Choose low-fat or non-fat dairy products.
  6. Choose lean cuts of meat, pork, or poultry.
  7. Eat seafood at least twice a week.

Because of Alegent’s commitment to create healthier communities, we are providing a “portion plate” at the September 14th Heart Healthy Cooking class at Lakeside Hospital. For more information and to register, go to www.alegent.com/cookingclass. See you there!

CHI Health Food and Nutrition Services Team
CHI Health Food and Nutrition Services Team

These blogs are written by members of the CHI Health Nutrition Services team.

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