Nutrition

What You Need to Know about MyPlate

The USDA’s MyPlate is an educational tool that we can use as a guideline for what we should be eating at our meals. This can be  difficult with not having as many food options as you did at home on campus, but by following some general rules you will be on your way to having a healthier plate.

Five food areas on the plate: fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy are needed in different amounts depending on your age and gender. Check out the link below to see how much of each food group you need in your diet!

http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/

There is more to just making sure that your plate looks like MyPlate to making healthier food choices, and the USDA has come up with guidelines to help with that. Here are a few of the tips:

  • You can enjoy the foods you are eating but just try and eat less: It is important to learn your limits and pay attention to your hunger and fullness levels and do know when you have had enough.
  • Avoid portions that are too large: If you portion out your foods before you eat, you are less likely to overload your plate and are more likely to feel more content with the normal portion size.
  • Make half of your plate fruits and vegetables: Try to add colorful and bright fruits and veggies to your plate and try change it up every day! This will help your plate to be more exciting to eat and look at!
  • Low-fat and fat-free milk: Try drinking these instead of whole milk. They give you all of the same nutrients as whole milk, but with less calories and saturated fat!
  • Make half the grains you eat whole grains: Try to avoid refined products and switch them with whole grains. An example would be eating whole-wheat bread instead of white bread.
  • Drink more water: Replacing water for sugary beverages eliminates unnecessary calories from your diet!

With these tips you will be on your way to having a healthier lifestyle! For more tips and information go to: www.choosemyplate.gov.

By Amber Jones

Photo Source: hsph.hardvard.edu

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