Friday, July 26, 2013

Ten Steps to Having a Great Plate

Contact: Cammie Younger, nutrition and health specialist
Tel: (417) 967-4545  

HOUSTON, Mo. -- The USDA approved simple concept of “MyPlate” is teaching Americans how to become healthier by what they put on their plates. 

Cammie Younger, a nutrition and health specialist with the University of Missouri Extension, says there are 10 basic steps that lead to having a great plate.

Balance calories. Calories should be balanced with a sufficient amount of physical activity. 

Enjoy your food, but eat less. “Take the time to savor your food and allow your body cues to tell you when you are full.  Eating too fast can often cause overeating,” said Younger.

Avoid oversized portions. A simple way to accomplish this is to use a smaller plate, bowl or glass.

Know what foods you should eat more often. “The foods in this category include vegetables, fruits, whole grains and fat-free or 1 percent milk and dairy foods,” said Younger.

Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. Dark colored vegetable are the best choices. “Consider choosing red (tomatoes), orange (sweet potatoes) and dark green (broccoli) vegetables.  Choose fruits for a side dish or dessert,” said Younger.

Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk. “These have fewer calories.  I recommend a gradual switch from whole milk to fat –free.  This gives your taste buds time to adjust to the new flavor will give you a better chance for success,” said Younger.

Make half your grains whole grains. Instead of white bread, choose 100% whole –wheat.

Foods to eat less often: fatty meats like ribs, sausages, bacon and hot dogs as well as cakes cookies, candies sugary drinks and ice cream should be eaten in moderation after healthier foods are consumed.

Compare sodium in foods. Look for foods labeled “low sodium,” “reduced sodium,” or “no salt added.”  Use the Nutrition Facts label to find the lower sodium foods.

Drink water instead of sugary drinks. Sports drinks, soda, and energy drinks have sugar and calories you don’t need.  Drink water or unsweetened drinks to cut calories.
“By following these 10 tips, your plate will serve you well on your journey to becoming a healthier you,” said Younger.

For more information on nutrition contact one of the following nutrition specialists: Dr. Lydia Kaume in Barton County, (417) 682-3579; Dr. Pam Duitsman, in Greene County, (417) 881-8909; or Cammie Younger in Texas County, (417) 967-4545. Information is also available online

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