A few weeks ago the 2015 Dietary Guidelines were released. No, this is not a typo. They are the 2015 guidelines. There was a lot of controversy and discussion regarding the guidelines which delayed their release until this year. The guidelines will affect everything from food labels to the school lunch program to food trends I thought I would share a few ways to incorporate the new guidelines into your life.
Julie’s Six Steps to Implement the New 2015 Dietary Guidelines:
1. Reduce sugar intake.
- Eat more whole foods (foods that have been processed or refined as little as possible and are free of additives).
- Limit packaged and restaurant foods.
- Satisfy your sweet tooth with fresh fruit—a.k.a., “nature’s candy.”
- Read food labels. I bet you aren’t aware of all the places added sugars creep into the foods you eat such as flavored yogurt, salad dressing, tomato sauce, cereal, instant flavored oatmeal and more.
2. Eat fruits & vegetables.
- Add spinach, tomatoes, and peppers to your morning’s scrambled eggs.
- Enjoy mixed greens with your lunch.
- Keep fresh cut fruits and vegetables on hand, ready to eat as snacks.
3. Rethink cholesterol.
- Watch your fat intake particularly saturated and trans fats. A good rule of thumb when reading a food label is to limit saturated fat to less than 2-3 g per serving and to avoid all trans fats.
- Include more plant based fats like nuts, seeds and avocado. Yes, they are fats, but you do need to eat some fats for satiety and to absorb fat soluble vitamins. These fats are unsaturated which are better for your heart and overall health.
4. Shift your protein.
- Eat more beans, lentils, nuts, seeds and tempeh or tofu.
- Snack on nuts and edamame. I like snacking on dry roasted edamame as an alternative to chips.
- Start a Meatless Monday tradition. Try my recipe for Veggie Beef Mac n Cheese to get you started.
- Put seafood on your menu at least twice a week (8 ounces) and limit meat intake to six servings a week (26 ounces).
5. Limit alcohol.
- No more than one drink per day for women or two for men. This hasn’t changed.
- A standard drink is equal to: 12-ounces of beer, 8-ounces of malt liquor, 5-ounces of wine, 1.5-ounces or a “shot” of 80-proof distilled spirits or liquor (e.g. gin, rum, vodka, whiskey).
6. Decrease sodium intake.
- The majority, 75%, of the sodium in our diets is already in the packaged and prepared (i.e. restaurant foods) foods we eat. Only 25% comes from the actual salt shaker.
- Buy fresh or frozen vegetables; use fresh not canned meats and limit sauces, mixes and ‘instant’ products including flavored rice and ready-made pasta.
- Add flavor to meals with fresh herbs and spices. I love fresh cilantro and basil.
- Read food labels. A product can be classified low sodium only if it has less than 140 mg per serving.