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Make Every Bite Count
Author: be well™ with Big Y® Registered Dietitian Team
What's the best way to eat:
Keto? Paleo? Atkins? Alkaline? Raw? The Whole30?
Registered dietitian, Carrie Taylor, shares tips on how to make every bite count.
For the be well™ with Big Y® team of registered dietitians, the answer is easy (and none of the above). We know the importance of eating a variety of foods with the flexibility to tailor your preferences around your taste buds, cultural influences and budget. That is why our team continues to base our recommendations on the USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released in 2021, and here are the main takeaways:
Make Every Bite Count
When it comes to the foods you eat—for meals, snacks and beverages give nutrient-rich options priority. This means lean in, and have 85% of your calories come from foods and drinks that provide much-needed nutrition such as water, vegetables, fruits, whole grains, dairy products, lean protein foods and plant-based oils.
With 85% of your calories coming from nutrient-rich sources, that means there's a wee bit of wiggle room for indulgences. With about 15% of your calories to be divided among foods providing saturated fat, added sugars and alcohol, enjoy sensible portions of indulgent foods so you can include all foods in your meal plan regularly.
Whether it's the type of whole grains you eat, the protein foods you reach for or the vegetables you choose, variety is key. Variety will keep food the primary source of your nutrients while also providing creative and crave-worthy meals.
Each Age Differs
From infancy to when you're breastfeeding your newborn, nutrition needs change. This year's Guidelines address what to aim for during each stage of life.
Be Allergy Savvy
Studies have shown the earlier children are introduced to common food allergens, including those with a family history of allergies, the less likely they are to have food sensitivities1. For this reason, the Guidelines emphasize the importance of introducing common food allergens like nuts, peanuts, wheat, dairy and fish early while beginning solids at 6 months old.
Learn your Food Group goals, more about recommended serving sizes and your very own MyPlate Plan at MyPlate.gov/myplate-plan.
1 Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics®. Kids Eat Right: Reducing the Risk for Food Allergies. Site accessed on March 23, 2021. https://www.eatright.org/health/allergies-and-intolerances/food-allergies/reducing-the-risk-of-food-allergies.