Food is meant to be enjoyed

Posted on March 2, 2012

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Food is meant to be enjoyed, but eating less is the key to weight management and disease prevention, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. During March, National Nutrition Month®, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association) encourages everyone to “Get Your Plate in Shape.”

“One way to accomplish this is by eating the foods you enjoy while being mindful of portion sizes and total calories,” says registered dietitian and Academy Spokesperson Marjorie Nolan.

BPHC staff is taking the same approach by providing you with helpful tips on portion control, reading labels and preparing healthy foods which maintain cultural heritage.   We will be highlighting a different topic each week which will be posted on display boards on campus near you.

We want to encourage the cultural diversity of the healthy foods we eat.  We know there are great cooks among us so take this opportunity to share your favorite healthy recipe with others within the Commission.

  “Here are simple steps toward getting your plate in shape

  • Be mindful of your daily calorie needs. Find your personal daily calorie quota using the Dietary Guidelines’ icon, MyPlate. When planning your meals and snacks throughout the day, keep your calorie needs in mind. “A simple way to do this is to think about the portions on your plate,” Nolan says. “Divide your plate in four sections with one each for whole grains, lean proteins, vegetables and fruits, and a side of dairy, such as a cup of low-fat milk or yogurt or an ounce of cheese.”
  • Avoid oversized portions by using smaller plates, bowls and glasses. “The standard 10-inch plate may be too large for you. Switch to 8-inch or appetizer-sized plates and you will automatically portion and eat less without feeling deprived,” says Nolan. Pile your plate with nutrient-dense, lower-calorie foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean protein foods like beans, seafood, lean meat and poultry.
  • Get into the kitchen and stay in charge of what you’re eating. Cooking more often at home not only allows you to balance what’s on your plate, but also enables you to choose healthier fats, less sodium and increase the fiber in your diet while balancing the amount of calories you eat. “Then, when you eat out, you’ll be more apt to recognize healthy portion sizes based on your experiences at home. Take the tactic of choosing lower calorie menu options when dining out by focusing on vegetables, fruits and whole grains,
  • Watch out for liquid calories. The calories in fruit juices and drinks with added sugar, sports drinks, sugar-laden coffee beverages and soft drinks can add up fast. Also, think before you drink alcoholic beverages as they have calories too. Remember to drink alcohol sensibly by capping it with one drink a day for women or two drinks a day for men. (A standard drink is 5 ounces of wine, 12 ounces of beer or 1.5 ounces of distilled spirits.)

For more information visit our website or call Mayors Health Line (617-534-5050).

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