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How to Build a Healthy Meal

From the food authorities at choosemyplate.gov, here's how to put together healthy and tasty meals:

Make half your plate veggies and fruit

Vegetables and fruits are full of nutrients that may help promote good health. Choose red, orange and dark green vegetables such as tomatoes, sweet potatoes and broccoli.

Add lean protein

Choose foods such as lean beef and pork, chicken, turkey, beans or tofu. Twice a week, make seafood the protein on your plate.

Include whole grains

Aim to make at least half your grains whole grains. Look for the words “100% whole grain” or “100% whole wheat” on the food label. Whole grains provide more nutrients, like fiber, than refined grains.

Don’t forget the dairy

Pair your meal with a cup of fat-free or low-fat milk.  They provide the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but less fat and calories. Don’t drink milk? Try soymilk (soy beverage) as your beverage or include fat-free or low-fat yogurt in your meal.

Avoid extra fat

Using heavy gravies or sauces will add fat and  calories to otherwise healthy choices. For example,  steamed broccoli is great, but avoid topping it with cheese  sauce. Try other options, like a sprinkling of low-fat parmesan cheese or a squeeze of lemon.

Take your time

Savor your food. Eat slowly, enjoy the taste and textures, and pay attention to how you feel. Be mindful. Eating very quickly may cause you to eat too much.

 

Use a smaller plate

This will help with portion control.  That way you can finish your entire plate and feel satisfied without overeating.

Take control of your food

Eat at home more often so you know exactly what you  are eating. If you eat out, check and compare the nutrition information. Choose healthier options such as baked instead of fried.

Try new foods

Keep it interesting by picking out new  foods you’ve never tried before, like mango, lentils, or kale. You may find a new favorite! Trade fun and tasty recipes with friends or find them online.

Satisfy your sweet tooth in a healthy way

Indulge in a naturally sweet dessert dish—fruit! Serve a fresh fruit cocktail or a fruit parfait made with yogurt. For a hot dessert, bake apples and top with cinnamon.

For more information on nutrition, visit www.choosemyplate.gov.

 

 

 

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