It’s National Nutrition Month!

wellness030216This week’s Wellness Wednesday is penned by Nutrition Graduate and Dietetic Intern Vanessa Garcia. 

Did you know that the dietary guidelines, nutrition suggestions for the general public, are updated every 5 years? This is a good time to start becoming aware of the new dietary guidelines for 2015-2020 and ways that you can make better choices every day.

Fruits and Vegetables

It seems that we often hear that we need to eat more fruits and vegetables. The new guidelines are no exception to this, but do you know how much we need to be eating? The average adult is only eating about 1. -2 cups of vegetables and . -1 . cups of fruits a day. The recommended amount of vegetables is 2½ -3 cups and of fruits is 1½ cups for women and 2 cups for men. That means that the average American needs to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diet. Some easy ways to do this is by filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. However, having broccoli and oranges every day can be boring, so incorporate a variety of foods that are different colors.

Fats and Oils

oilveoilAnother element that needs to be looked at more closely is the average fat intake. For Americans, the advice is to limit solid fats and to switch to fat from healthy sources such as canola oil, olive oil, and oils from seeds and nuts. We eat more solid fat than is recommended. Aim to limit overall fat intake and use oils, a healthier option, instead of solid fat. Choose foods lower in overall fat such as turkey and chicken over beef to consume a low fat protein source and keep your dairy sources low fat. You can also choose low fat salad dressing.

Healthy Eating Patterns

Overall, these tips encourage following healthy eating patterns. This includes having half of your grains be whole, eating a variety of protein sources, reducing solid fats, eating low-fat dairy options, and including a variety of whole fruits and vegetables. Following these guidelines is possible on campus by choosing healthy options at any of our 21 dining locations. For more information on how you can improve your diet and live a healthier lifestyle, you can contact your campus dietitian.

Campus Tips:

  • Choose foods with the Smart Choices label.
  • Plan ahead! Look up the nutrition facts online at smartchoices.ttu.edu prior to eating at different dining locations.
  • Choose a grab-n-go fruit cup as a side instead of other options such as fries.

Resources:

Created by TTU Graduate, Dietetic Intern: Vanessa Garcia, for questions:
Hospitality Dietitian | Mindy Diller, MS, RDN, LD |  mindy.diller@ttu.edu 

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