One of the ways to incorporate color into your healthful eating plan is to include the colors of MyPyramid. Developed by the United States Department of Agriculture, MyPyramid is part of an overall food guidance system that emphasizes the need for an individual approach to improving diet and lifestyle.
Each color of the MyPyramid symbol represents the recommended proportion of foods from each food group and focuses on the importance of making smart food choices in every food group, every day.
Here are tips to make sure all the colors of MyPyramid are part of your healthful eating plan:
• Use whole-grain for sandwiches.
• Opt for oat or whole-wheat cereal for breakfast.
• Substitute brown rice for white rice in favorite recipes.
• Add whole barley to soups and stews or bulgur wheat to salads and casseroles.
When looking for whole-grain choices, make sure the label says “100 percent whole grain” and the ingredient label says “whole” before the grain listed.
• Try crunchy vegetables instead of chips with your favorite dip or low-fat salad dressing.
• Top a baked potato with beans and salsa or broccoli and low-fat or fat-free cheese.
• Make your main dish a salad of dark, leafy greens and other colorful vegetables. Top with a low-fat dressing.
• Stuff an omelet with vegetables. Try any combination of chopped tomatoes, onions, green pepper, spinach or mushrooms plus some low-fat or fat-free cheese.
• Start your day by adding sliced fruit to your cereal or on top of whole-grain waffles or pancakes.
• Add fruit to salads. This boosts nutrition and adds texture and taste. Add orange slices or strawberries to spinach salads or toss grapes into a mixed green salad.
• For dessert, add sliced bananas, berries or peaches to non-fat yogurt or as a topper on angel food cake.
• Dried fruit makes a handy snack and can be equally as nutritious as fresh. However, be mindful of serving sizes.
Used in cooking and baking as well as for flavor, oils are fats that are liquid at room temperature. There are a variety of oils that come from many different plants. Common types include: canola, corn, olive, peanut, safflower, soybean, sunflower, walnut and sesame oils. Besides their essential fatty acids, oils are the major source of vitamin E for most Americans. However, oils do contain about 120 calories per tablespoon, so keep portions in mind.
• Low-fat cheese in a sandwich
• Yogurt dips with vegetables
• Low-fat shredded cheese on soups and salads
• Evaporated low-fat or fat-free milk in recipes that call for cream.
Meat and Beans (Purple)
• Choose lean cuts of meat. Look for words like loin or round in the description.
• To prepare lean cuts of meat, try broiling, grilling, roasting, panbroiling, braising, stewing or stir-frying.
• Choose fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help reduce your risk of heart disease and may help reduce the inflammation of rheumatoid arthritis.
For more information please contact Zach Deaton, Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian, at 919-742-5641.