The USDA Guidelines—10 Tips to a Healthy Plate
Tip 1: Balance Calories
- Go to www.choosemyplate.gov and use the Super tracker feature to help you manage your weight.
- Eat whole foods which contain nutrient-dense calories.
Tip 2: Enjoy Your Food
- Take time to fully enjoy eating—savor the first few bites. Pay attention to hunger and fullness cues before, during and after meals.
- How can you cut down on distractions so you can fully enjoy your meals? Avoid watching television, or using your cell phone, tablet, or computer while eating.
Tip 3: Avoid Oversized Portions
- Read nutrition labels so you can consume the correct serving amount.
- Share entrees when eating out and don’t eat second servings when you’re at home.
- Use a smaller plate such as a salad plate instead of a dinner sized plate.
Tip 4: Eat a Variety of Protein Foods
- Experiment with various protein foods such as fish, lean meats, beans, low fat dairy products and high protein grains.
- Try to eat small, lean portions of protein.
Tip 5: Make ½ Your Plate Fruits and Vegetables
- Choose colorful vegetables & fruits in season, or eat healthy frozen and canned varieties.
Tip 6: Switch to Lower Fat Milk and Milk Products
Tip 7: Make ½ Your Grains Whole
- Substitute whole grain products for refined ones—such as pasta, bread and rice.
Tip 8: Foods to Eat Less Often
- Cut back on foods high in solid fats, added sugars and salt–have these foods as occasional treats—not everyday staples.
- Buy or make healthier versions of your favorite treats.
Tip 9: Look at Nutrition labels for Sodium Information
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends that individuals consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. (This is the upper limit. Less than 2300 mg of sodium per day is even better)
- Choose food labeled “reduced sodium” or “no salt added”.
- Use spices, herbs, garlic, vinegar or lemon juice to flavor food instead of salt.
Tip 10: Drink Plenty of Water
Remember, you don’t need to “clean your plate”. It is fine to leave some food on your plate and eat less!
Go to choosemyplate.com for other great wellness information!