Thursday, February 3, 2011

Dietary Guidelines Call for More Exercise, Less Food from US Government

Stay away from the television at mealtime and skip the hamburgers in favor of seafood and vegetables, says the U.S.  They call on Americans to switch to fat-free or low-fat milk and choose a variety of proteins, including beans, peas and soy products.

The USDA also got more specific in telling Americans what kind of protein they should eat. Whereas fish used to be lumped together in a catch-all category for lean meat and beans, the agency is now saying seafood is an important part of the diet.

The agency suggests that people prepare and serve smaller portions at home, and eat a small, healthy snack before heading out to parties to keep from gorging. Americans should also drink more water instead of soda or other drinks with a heavy load of calories and little other nutritional benefit.

New Guidelines
Enjoy your food, but eat less.
Avoid oversized portions.
Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.
Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread, and frozen meals – and choose the foods with lower numbers.
Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
Source: USDA

Food Figures
Average amount of salt Americans consume each day: 3,400 milligrams (Recommended amount: 1,500 milligrams per day for high-risk groups, 2,300 for others.)
Percentage of sodium in diet that comes from pizza: 6%
On average, percentage of total calories that comes from added sugars: 16%
Percentage of added sugar in diet that comes from soda and other sugary drinks: 36%
Average annual consumption, per person, of seafood in the U.S. (including shellfish): 11 pounds
Average annual consumption, per person, of beef in the U.S.: 65 pounds (of which 33 pounds are hamburger)  Sources: U.S. Department of Agriculture; American Meat Institute (beef consumption) 

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