- About HEALTHY YOU
- Health Questionnaire/
- Healthy Living
- Your School’s
Most of us know that eating right is central to our good health. Getting started can require a bit of education and effort, but you can work healthy food choices into your life. It’s pretty basic: you need to know what to eat and how much.
What You Can Do
Knowing What to Eat
To learn more about what you should eat each day, take a look at the “MyPyramid” guidelines provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Pyramid describes a healthy diet as the appropriate mix of foods outlined below:
|Type of Food||Examples||Actions You Can Take Each Day|
|Grains||Whole wheat bread, pasta, cereal, couscous, quinoa, brown rice||Make at least half of your grains “whole”|
|Fruits||Apples, bananas, grapes, oranges, grapefruit, melons, peaches, strawberries, blueberries||Eat a variety of fruits and go easy on fruit juices|
|Vegetables||Broccoli, carrots, green beans, green peas, kale, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, tomatoes||Focus on dark green and orange veggies|
|Milk and dairy products||Fat-free (skim) or low-fat (1%) milk, fat-free, low-fat, or reduced-fat cheese, fat-free or low-fat yogurt||Go low-fat or fat-free|
|Lean meats, poultry, and fish||Beef, chicken, pork, fish, shellfish, eggs||Trim away visible fat; broil, roast, or poach; remove skin from chicken|
|Beans, nuts, seeds, and legumes||Almonds, cashews, peanuts, sunflower seeds, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, lentils, split peas||Eat a small portion of nuts for an energy boost|
|Oils||Nut- or vegetable-based, olive oil, fish oil||Limit your use of butter, margarine, shortening, and lard|
The ”MyPyramid.gov“ website provides daily recommendations for each area; you’ll also find a comprehensive list of the different types of foods in each group.
Knowing How Much to Eat
The amount of food you need each day from each area varies based on your gender, age, height, weight, and level of physical activity. You don’t need to be a nutritionist to figure it all out. Use the simple tool provided through the “MyPyramid.gov” website. Enter your age, weight, height, and daily level of physical activity, and from there, you’ll get recommendations—the amounts you should eat from each food group and your recommended calorie intake—customized for you. You can also use the site’s free menu planning and food/activity tracking tools.