#food #eating #COVID19, #health
“Good nutrition drives overall good health, so prepare and eat Real food‘– Paul Ebeling
The past 11 months’ of COVID-19 chaos has had numerous good effects on cognizant people, not the least of which is the renewed focus on preparing and eating Real food at home in a healthy family atmosphere.
So much so that new federal dietary guidelines encourage Americans to focus more on eating healthy throughout life and to cut down or cut out empty calories.
The latest recommendations from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), are designed to promote nutrition and prevent chronic disease.
The guidance influences food and nutrition programs at the federal, state and local levels, and impacts how food companies formulate their products.
This program finally recognizes that the high prevalence of diabetes, cancer and heart disease can be reduced when people eat better. Chronic diseases are related to obesity and poor nutritional habits at all levels of the American population.
Below are the Key ways to approach eating now, as follows:
Healthy eating comes in many forms and must be adjusted to fit cultural traditions, personal tastes and budgets.
Limiting red meat does not mean do not eat it. Just do not eat too much of it and when you do eat the best, make it a treat.
For most of your diet eat pork, wild caught seafood, poultry and vegetables rather than ordinary red meat.
The focus on customization based on culture, budget and personal preference is a departure from the old guideline that wrongly declared 1-size-fits-all approach to healthy eating.
The message says for people to making intelligent choices, which means make changes.
Pre-COVID 19 the USDA guidelines were aimed at the overall population. Now is recognizes the diversity in American society.
For the 1st time, the guidelines say children under 2 anni should completely avoid foods and drinks with added sugars, such as soda, cake, ice cream and fruit drinks.
But the guidance for added sugars remains unchanged. That despite a report last Summer from the dietary guidelines advisory committee that called for everyone ages 2 and older to cut consumption to 6% of daily calories, down from the recommended 10%.
Similarly, the guidelines stuck with previous advice on alcohol: no more than 2 drinks per day for men and 1 for women in adults who choose to drink. The advisory committee suggested men limit alcohol to 1 drink a day for both men and women. Pregnant women should avoid it completely, the guidelines say.
Sugar and Alcohol do not have any nutrition whatsoever.
Sugar is added to a variety of foods as a preservative where you may not expect it, including bottled spaghetti sauce, ketchup, breads and cereals. It is important to read nutrition labels and select foods carefully.
The guidelines for the 1st time outline recommendations by life stage: from birth through older adulthood.
For example, babies should exclusively have breast milk for the 1st 6 months of life. If breastfeeding is not an option, babies should be fed an iron-fortified infant formula.
The guidelines recognize that people 60 anni and older have different nutritional needs. For instance, vitamin B12 deficiencies are more common in older people because the ability to absorb the nutrient naturally decreases with age, but also can decrease because of certain medications.
So, older adults are urged to eat the recommended amount of protein, a common source of B12, as well as B12-fortified foods, plus B Vitamin supplements when called for.
Food is eaten in variety meaning in combinations daily and over time.
The idea is to eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables rather than focusing on specific nutrients. For example, beta carotene is a plant pigment and antioxidant found in carrots and other vegetables.
The USDA created America’s nutrient guides to avoid deficiencies, but personally what we need to do is focus on optimal health. So avoid all foods high in sugar, saturated fat and sodium (salt).
It is Key to learn about food and how to prepare and eat it at home, there are online tools that make recommendations based you and your family’s needs including pets.
The theme is to make every bite count, meaning avoiding high-calorie junk foods such as potato chips, cookies and calorie-laden and nutrient-poor fast foods in favor of healthier options.
Notably, that requires discipline in the medium to low to poor people in the population who rely on fast and junk food for their diets.
But, we all can think fruits and vegetables, real butter whole dairy and lean meats, poultry and fish and watch cooking shows that explain in detail how to making eating healthier.
The Big Q: Why?
The Big A: Because when you fill up on all the right foods, you do not want the other ‘hollow’ foods, because you are full and satisfied.
The benefits are beyond filling: people sleep better, become less stressed and have more energy to exercise.
Once a again, “Good nutrition drives overall good health, so prepare and eat Real food.”