Keeping track of the nutrients we get can be pretty difficult work. You might wonder at times if you’re not getting enough veggies or protein in your diet. Today, we’re going to discuss some dietary guidelines and how we can help ensure we get the right nutrients daily.
First, let’s discuss what a healthy eating pattern is, and why it’s important!
According to *health.gov, a healthy eating pattern is one that meets all your nutritional needs and is adaptable – it’s not about restriction, it’s about balance! It’s recommended that to get proper nutrition, one must eat a variety of vegetables from all subgroups – think dark green, starchy, legumes, and other veggies.
Fruits, fat-free or low-fat dairy, a variety of protein (seafood, lean meats, eggs, legumes), and oils. They also recommend to limit saturated fats and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium. The daily recommended serving is 2 cups of fruit and 2 ½ cups of vegetables per day. Please keep in mind that these are recommendations for individuals in the U.S., so dietary guidelines may differ slightly between countries.
There are many different ways to ensure you get the right nutrition, and I believe everybody is different with how much they need. Some people have dietary restrictions that make them unable to consume nutrients from various sources (think vegetarian, dairy-free, or gluten-free even). In these instances, nutrition can be supplemented by things like vitamins, green smoothies (if you can’t stand your veggies), or protein shakes.
As someone who struggles with getting the daily recommendation of fruits and vegetables a day (along with 77% of American adults…oops!), visual aides such as this one, that show how much I should be getting each day are really useful to me. Be mindful of what you put on your plate, try to include veggies, fruits, whole grains, and protein in each meal, but don’t go overboard. Remember to enjoy your food and trust your body to know what it needs to take care of itself.
This post is contributed by Samantha Thayer, Online Outreach and Education Specialist from What’s Up, USANA?. For more information on health, feel free to visit their blog or find them on Twitter @USANAInc.
*Sources: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and U.S. Department of Agriculture. 2015 – 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 8th Edition. December 2015. Available here.