Wellness Words July 2011

Wellness Words July 2011

HealthLink Littauer’s


Submitted by Ryan Wille, B.S.

Community Health Educator



In June of this year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the creation of MyPlate. MyPlate will replace the food pyramid, which provided the guidelines for a healthy diet for the past 20 years. Many people found the food pyramid hard to understand and the USDA felt it was time for a change.

MyPlate has four colored sections representing fruits, vegetables, grains and proteins.

Next to the plate is a smaller circle representing dairy products.

The USDA believes that the new design is much simpler and will assist people in adapting healthy eating habits.

More information on MyPlate can be found at ChooseMyPlate.gov

The USDA has also provided the following 10 Tips To A Great Plate.

1. Balance Calories: The first step in managing your weight is to understand how many calories you need in a day. ChooseMyPlate.gov can assist people in determining calorie goals. Physical activity also helps to balance calories.

2. Enjoy Your Food, But Eat Less: Take the time to fully enjoy your food. Eating too fast may lead to consuming too many calories. Pay attention to hunger cues before, during and after meals.

3. Avoid Oversized Portions: Portion out foods before you eat. Use smaller plates, bowls and glasses.

4. Foods To Eat More Often: Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat dairy products. These foods have the necessary nutrients for a healthy diet and should be the basis for meals and snacks.

5. Make Half Of Your Plate Fruits & Vegetables: Choose red, orange, and dark-green vegetables like tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and broccoli, along with other vegetables. Add fruit to meals as part of main dishes, side dishes or desserts.

6. Switch To Fat-Free Or Low-Fat (1%) Milk: These products have the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but fewer calories and less saturated fat.

7. Make Half Of Your Grains Whole Grains: To eat more whole grains, substitute a whole-grain product for a refined product. For example, eating whole-grain bread instead of white bread or brown rice instead of white rice.

8. Foods To Eat Less Often: Cut back on foods that are high in solid fats, added sugars, and salt. This includes cakes, cookies, ice cream, candies, sweetened drinks, pizza and fatty meals like ribs, sausages, bacon, and hot dogs. Use these foods as occasional treats, not everyday foods.

9. Compare Sodium In Foods: Use the Nutrition Facts labels to choose lower sodium versions of foods like soup, bread and frozen meals. Select canned foods labeled “low sodium,” “reduced sodium,” or “no salt added.”

10. Drink Water Instead Of Sugary Drinks: Cut calories by drinking water or unsweetened drinks. Soda, energy drinks and sports drinks contain added sugars and calories.

For more information, contact your health care provider, Littauer’s Outpatient Nutritional Counseling at 773-5413, or HealthLink Littauer at 736-1120. You can e-mail us at healthlink@nlh.org, see our website at www.nlh.org, or visit our wellness center at 213 Harrison Street Ext. in Johnstown, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. We’re your community health & wellness service of Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home.