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Nutrition Tips

Build a Healthy Eating Style

All food and beverage choices matter – focus on variety, amount, and nutrition.

Make your takeout healthier

posted Apr 17, 2018, 6:46 AM by Linda Hopey


Look for veggies

Pick dishes that highlight veggies, like chicken and broccoli or a vegetable stir-fry. Be mindful of the type and amount of sauce used.

 

small icon of steamed food
Try steamed foods

Many foods can be steamed rather than fried. Steamed dumplings and rice are lower in saturated fat than the fried versions.

 

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Adjust your order

Most restaurants are happy to accommodate your requests. Ask that your food be cooked with less oil or half the sauce.

 

small icon of a bottle of soy sauce
Add sauces sparingly

Sodium in soy sauce and calories from added sugars in duck and teriyaki sauces can add up quickly, so be mindful of how much you use.

 

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Use chopsticks

Unless you’re an expert, eating with chopsticks can help you slow down and recognize when you’re full so you don’t overeat.
 

Eating Outdoors, Handling Food Safely

posted Apr 6, 2018, 7:43 AM by Linda Hopey

Pack and Transport Food Safely

Keep your food safe: from the refrigerator/freezer — all the way to the picnic table.

  • Keep cold food cold. Place cold food in a cooler with ice or frozen gel packs. Cold food should be stored at 40 °F or below to prevent bacterial growth. Meat, poultry, and seafood may be packed while still frozen so that they stay colder longer.
  • Organize cooler contents. Consider packing beverages in one cooler and perishable foods in another. That way, as picnickers open and reopen the beverage cooler to replenish their drinks, the perishable foods won’t be exposed to warm outdoor air temperatures.
  • Keep coolers closed: Once at the picnic site, limit the number of times the cooler is opened as much as you can. This helps to keep the contents cold longer.
  • Don’t cross-contaminate. Be sure to keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood securely wrapped. This keeps their juices from contaminating prepared/cooked foods or foods that will be eaten raw, such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Clean your produce. Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water before packing them in the cooler — including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten. Rub firm-skinned fruits and vegetables under running tap water or scrub with a clean vegetable brush while rinsing with running tap water. Dry fruits and vegetables with a clean cloth towel or paper towel. Packaged fruits and vegetables that are labeled “ready-to-eat,” “washed,” or “triple washed” need not be washed.

Reach Your Nutrition Goals

posted Apr 3, 2018, 5:05 AM by Linda Hopey

Start with small changes

Instead of a diet overhaul, make small changes to what you eat and drink that will work for you now and in the future.

 

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Take one day at a time

Sometimes things don’t go as planned, even with the best of intentions. If you miss one day or one milestone for your goal, don’t give up!

 

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Be active your way

Pick activities you enjoy! If you focus on having fun or learning a new skill that interests you, you will be more likely to stick with it.

 

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Team up

Find a friend with similar goals—swap healthy recipes and be active together. Staying on track is easier with support and a cheerleader.

 

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Celebrate successes

Think of each change as a “win” as you build positive habits and find ways to reach your goals. Reward yourself—you’ve earned it!

Why is it important to eat vegetables?

posted Mar 26, 2018, 6:27 AM by Linda Hopey

Eating vegetables provides health benefits – people who eat more vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Vegetables provide nutrients vital for health and maintenance of your body.
 

Nutrients

grocery bags filled with fruits and vegetables image

  • Most vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories. None have cholesterol. (Sauces or seasonings may add fat, calories, and/or cholesterol.)
  • Vegetables are important sources of many nutrients, including potassium, dietary fiber, folate (folic acid), vitamin A, and vitamin C.
  • Diets rich in potassium may help to maintain healthy blood pressure. Vegetable sources of potassium include sweet potatoes, white potatoes, white beans, tomato products (paste, sauce, and juice), beet greens, soybeans, lima beans, spinach, lentils, and kidney beans.
  • Dietary fiber from vegetables, as part of an overall healthy diet, helps reduce blood cholesterol levels and may lower risk of heart disease. Fiber is important for proper bowel function. It helps reduce constipation and diverticulosis. Fiber-containing foods such as vegetables help provide a feeling of fullness with fewer calories.
  • Folate (folic acid) helps the body form red blood cells. Women of childbearing age who may become pregnant should consume adequate folate from foods, and in addition 400 mcg of synthetic folic acid from fortified foods or supplements. This reduces the risk of neural tube defects, spina bifida, and anencephaly during fetal development.
  • Vitamin A keeps eyes and skin healthy and helps to protect against infections.
  • Vitamin C helps heal cuts and wounds and keeps teeth and gums healthy. Vitamin C aids in iron absorption.
     

Health benefits

  • Eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce risk for heart disease, including heart attack and stroke.
  • Eating a diet rich in some vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet may protect against certain types of cancers.
  • Diets rich in foods containing fiber, such as some vegetables and fruits, may reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, and type 2 diabetes.
  • Eating vegetables and fruits rich in potassium as part of an overall healthy diet may lower blood pressure, and may also reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and help to decrease bone loss.
  • Eating foods such as vegetables that are lower in calories per cup instead of some other higher-calorie food may be useful in helping to lower calorie intake.

Focus on Fruit

posted Mar 19, 2018, 6:11 AM by Linda Hopey


Coffee Tips

posted Jan 31, 2018, 7:45 AM by Linda Hopey

Coffee Tips

Keep Your Family Safe This Thanksgiving

posted Nov 8, 2017, 10:14 AM by Linda Hopey

Americans will eat more than 46 million turkeys this Thanksgiving. Keep your family and friends safe with simple food safety tips from USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service:

  • Read labels carefully. Temperature labels show if the bird is fresh or frozen. If you plan to serve a fresh turkey, buy it no more than two days before Thanksgiving.
  • Do not wash the turkey. This spreads pathogens onto kitchen surfaces. The only way to kill bacteria that causes foodborne illness is to fully cook the turkey.
  • Refrigerate leftovers within two hours to prevent bacteria from growing on the food.

Build a Healthy Eating Style

posted Sep 19, 2017, 5:36 AM by Linda Hopey   [ updated Sep 19, 2017, 5:37 AM ]

All food and beverage choices matter – focus on variety, amount, and nutrition.

What foods are in the Protein Foods Group?

posted Oct 18, 2016, 8:23 AM by Linda Hopey

 

All foods made from meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, processed soy products, nuts, and seeds are considered part of the Protein Foods Group. Beans and peas are also part of the Vegetable Group. For more information on beans and peas, see Beans and Peas Are Unique Foods.

 

Select a variety of protein foods to improve nutrient intake and health benefits, including at least 8 ounces of cooked seafood per week. Young children need less, depending on their age and calorie needs. The advice to consume seafood does not apply to vegetarians. Vegetarian options in the Protein Foods Group include beans and peas, processed soy products, and nuts and seeds. Meat and poultry choices should be lean or low-fat.

 

How much food from the Protein Foods Group is needed daily?
 

The amount of food from the Protein Foods Group you need to eat depends on age, sex, and level of physical activity. Most Americans eat enough food from this group, but need to make leaner and more varied selections of these foods. Recommended daily amounts are shown in the table below.

Note: Click on the top row to expand the table. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to turn your phone to see the full table.

 

DAILY PROTEIN FOODS TABLE

DAILY RECOMMENDATION*

Children

2-3 years old
4-8 years old

2 ounce equivalents
4 ounce equivalents

Girls

9-13 years old
14-18 years old

5 ounce equivalents
5 ounce equivalents

Boys

9-13 years old
14-18 years old

5 ounce equivalents
6 ½ ounce equivalents

Women

19-30 years old
31-50 years old
51+ years old

5 ½ ounce equivalents
5 ounce equivalents
5 ounce equivalents

Men

19-30 years old

31-50 years old

51+ years old

6 ½ ounce equivalents
6 ounce equivalents
5 ½ ounce equivalents

 

*These amounts are appropriate for individuals who get less than 30 minutes per day of moderate physical activity, beyond normal daily activities. Those who are more physically active may be able to consume more while staying within calorie needs.

 

What counts as an ounce-equivalent in the Protein Foods Group?

In general, 1 ounce of meat, poultry or fish, ¼ cup cooked beans, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, or ½ ounce of nuts or seeds can be considered as 1 ounce-equivalent from the Protein Foods Group.

 

This table below lists specific amounts that count as 1 ounce-equivalent in the Protein Foods Group towards your daily recommended intake.

Note: Click on the top row to expand the table. If you are on a mobile device, you may need to turn your phone to see the full table.

 

 

OUNCE-EQUIVALENT OF PROTEIN FOODS TABLE

 

AMOUNT THAT COUNTS AS 1 OUNCE-EQUIVALENT IN THE PROTEIN FOODS GROUP

COMMON PORTIONS AND OUNCE-EQUIVALENTS

Meats

1 ounce cooked lean beef

1 ounce cooked lean pork or ham

1 small steak (eye of round, filet) = 3 ½ to 4 ounce-equivalents

1 small lean hamburger = 2 to 3 ounce-equivalents

Poultry

1 ounce cooked chicken or turkey, without skin

1 sandwich slice of turkey (4 ½" x 2 ½" x 1/8")

1 small chicken breast half = 3 ounce-equivalents

½ Cornish game hen = 4 ounce-equivalents

Seafood

1 ounce cooked fish or shell fish

1 can of tuna, drained = 3 to 4 ounce-equivalents
1 salmon steak = 4 to 6 ounce-equivalents
1 small trout = 3 ounce-equivalents

Eggs

1 egg

3 egg whites = 2 ounce-equivalents
3 egg yolks = 1 ounce-equivalent

Nuts and seeds

½ ounce of nuts (12 almonds, 24 pistachios, 7 walnut halves)
½ ounce of seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, or squash seeds, hulled, roasted)
1 Tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter

1 ounce of nuts of seeds = 2 ounce-equivalents

Beans and peas

¼ cup of cooked beans (such as black, kidney, pinto, or white beans)

¼ cup of cooked peas (such as chickpeas, cowpeas, lentils, or split peas)
¼ cup of baked beans, refried beans

¼ cup (about 2 ounces) of tofu
1 ox. tempeh, cooked
¼ cup roasted soybeans 1 falafel patty (2 ¼", 4 oz)
2 Tablespoons hummus


1 cup split pea soup = 2 ounce-equivalents
1 cup lentil soup = 2 ounce-equivalents
1 cup bean soup = 2 ounce-equivalents


1 soy or bean burger patty = 2 ounce-equivalents
 


Selection Tips

  • Choose lean or low-fat meat and poultry. If higher fat choices are made, such as regular ground beef (75-80% lean) or chicken with skin, the fat counts against your limit for calories from saturated fats.
  • If solid fat is added in cooking, such as frying chicken in shortening or frying eggs in butter or stick margarine, this also counts against your limit for calories from saturated fats.
  • Select some seafood that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, trout, sardines, anchovies, herring, Pacific oysters, and Atlantic and Pacific mackerel.
  • Processed meats such as ham, sausage, frankfurters, and luncheon or deli meats have added sodium. Check the Nutrition Facts label to help limit sodium intake. Fresh chicken, turkey, and pork that have been enhanced with a salt-containing solution also have added sodium. Check the product label for statements such as “self-basting” or “contains up to __% of __”, which mean that a sodium-containing solution has been added to the product.
  • Choose unsalted nuts and seeds to keep sodium intake low.

 

Some types of physical activity are especially beneficial

posted May 23, 2016, 5:16 AM by Linda Hopey   [ updated May 23, 2016, 5:17 AM ]

  • Aerobic activities make you breathe harder and make your heart beat faster. Aerobic activities can be moderate or vigorous in their intensity. Vigorous activities take more effort than moderate ones. For moderate activities, you can talk while you do them, but you can't sing. For vigorous activities, you can only say a few words without stopping to catch your breath.
  • Muscle-strengthening activities make your muscles stronger. These include activities like push-ups and lifting weights. It is important to work all the different parts of the body - your legs, hips, back, chest, stomach, shoulders, and arms.
  • Bone-strengthening activities make your bones stronger. Bone strengthening activities, like jumping, are especially important for children and adolescents. These activities produce a force on the bones that promotes bone growth and strength.
  • Balance and stretching activities enhance physical stability and flexibility, which reduces risk of injuries. Examples are gentle stretching, dancing, yoga, martial arts, and t'ai chi.
  • - See more at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/physical-activity-why#sthash.43rskb0U.dpuf

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