H E A LT H U P D AT E S MyPlate promises to better inform dietary choices Eby The United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new MyPlate graphic will better communicate the principles of a healthy diet, said Courtney Eby, RD, LD, a nutrition therapist at Northfield Hospital & Clinics. “This is a vast improvement over the old food pyramid,” she said. “MyPlate is more intuitive and speaks more plainly about what is included in a healthy diet.” Diet is destiny, and there are many chronic health conditions that can be avoided by being more intentional about what we eat. MyPlate provides visual cues on how to build a healthy plate at mealtime. It names the five basic food groups and suggests the proportions that will best meet caloric and nutritional needs. Eby encourages people to visit the USDA’s ChooseMyPlate.gov to learn more about the foods they should bring to the table more often and those not so much. “My hope is that this new representation will inform people and make it easier for them to be thoughtful about what they consume,” said Eby. If you have questions about MyPlate or other nutrition issues, contact Courtney Eby or Kristi Von Ruden, RD, LD, at 507-646-1410. –[eat more: VEGETABLES AND FRUITS Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables; A variety of vegetables, especially dark green and red and orange vegetables, and beans and peas. WHOLE GRAINS Whole grains such as brown rice, whole-wheat bread, oatmeal and whole-wheat pasta. Check the label for those with the most fiber. DAIRY Fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese or fortified soy beverages. PROTEIN A variety of protein food, such as seafood, lean meat and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, soy products and unsalted nuts and seeds; Seafood. Choose twice each week. Oils in place of solid fats where possible. For example, choose olive, canola or peanut oil over stick butter, margarine or baking grease. –[eat less: 6 SODIUM Reduce your daily sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg from the American average of 4650 mg. For those who are 51 and older and those of any age who are African American, or have hypertension, diabetes or chronic kidney disease, reduce intake to 1,500 mg. SATURATED AND TRANS FATTY ACIDS For a person eating 2,000 calories a day, the goal would be to consume less than 200 calories from saturated and trans fats, about 22 grams. For example, avoid cake, cookies, ice cream, doughnuts full fat cheeses and fatty meats, would help you meet this goal. ADDED SUGARS The World Health Organization and the USDA recommend that 10 percent or less of our daily calories come from added sugar. That is still the equivalent of 13 teaspoons of sugar a day. The present average is more than 42 teaspoons. A typical 20-ounce soda contains 15 teaspoons of sugar. If alcohol is consumed, it should be consumed in moderation – one drink per day for women, two drinks per day for men – and only by adults of legal drinking age.