AMES, Iowa – Many people make New Year’s resolutions to slim down. Their plans often involve rigid diet regimens that end after a month or so; likely because they feel deprived.
“Instead of concentrating on how to avoid what you may consider to be ‘forbidden’ foods, focus on foods you can eat more often,” said Sarah Francis, an Iowa State University assistant professor and ISU Extension and Outreach nutrition specialist.
In 2011 the USDA released the MyPlate icon, featuring a plate half-filled with fruits and vegetables. Whole grains fill a fourth of the plate, with lean protein covering another fourth, and a dairy serving at the side.
“These foods are nutrient rich, meaning in addition to tasting great, they provide essential vitamins and minerals,” Francis said.
Francis suggests following these tips to eat more healthful foods.
In addition to MyPlate, which helps people visualize what a healthy meal plate should look like, the USDA recently released the free online tool, SuperTracker, https://www.choosemyplate.gov/SuperTracker/default.aspx.
“Tracking is a great way to monitor your success in adopting a healthier diet and fitness lifestyle,” Francis said. “The SuperTracker provides personalized nutrition and physical activities plans, allows you to track your dietary intake and physical activity to monitor your progress, and provides tips and support to help you make healthful decisions.”
Join the Live Healthy Iowa 100-Day Challenge. This team-based weight loss and physical activity program helps Iowans make positive changes that lead to a healthier lifestyle. The 2012 program begins Jan. 23. For more information or to register, visit www.LiveHealthyIowa.org. Live Healthy Iowa is a partnership of the Iowa Department of Public Health, Iowa Sports Foundation and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.
For more information on nutrition and health or to receive a weekly e-mail from ISU Extension and Outreach including a food, recipe and activity of the week, visit www.extension.iastate.edu/healthnutrition.
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