Healthy eating …… a long path in front of us?

12 Mar

Healthy Foods

Many of you know that Inés and I teach nutrition education classes in the community. As county extension agents we have access to the most recent research based information available. We recently reviewed a special report shared in December of 2014, from the committee who puts together the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Unfortunately this report is confirming that the US population is not really making progress in utilizing good nutrition as a tool to stay healthy. The comprehensive report recognizes that we are still under consuming key nutrients like Vitamin D, calcium, potassium and fiber, contributing to the development of health problems like cardiovascular disease and cancer. How can we make this report more personal? It is important that you talk to your healthcare provider to identify how well you are doing in including these nutrients in your daily life. Yo might need to evaluate your eating patterns and outdoor activities to compensate for the deficiencies.

Another component of the report might also sound surprising to many. The report highlights that cholesterol is not considered a nutrient of concern when over consumed. Does this mean that now we can over indulge in eating foods like full fat dairy foods or steak? Certainly no! We need to remember that cholesterol rich foods are also high in saturated fats, and they definitely pose a risk for the development of chronic disease ailments as well.

The Dietary Guidelines are published every five years and during the last 10 we have seen that among Americans the fruit intake is still low but stable, our consumption of vegetables has declined, our whole grains and dairy consumption has increased but it is still low and our sugar consumption has gone down but is still exceeding the recommended limits. As a nation we still eat too much sodium and saturated fats!

Are you feeling concerned  and frustrated about this new report? I invite you to take sometime to think about your own personal experience with food and post your comments and or suggestions in the comment session of our blog. We would love to hear form you! It seems that we have a long path to walk in front of us to make sure we are eating healthier. Contact us or contact your local Extension office to get more information about healthy eating.

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