Renew You Challenge

Let’s start this week off right!

Weekly challenge (I mean, opportunity!) to help set you off on the right foot and in the right direction for bringing health to your week. You could even add it to your calendar.  Join us! 

Every five years the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is reviewed, updated if necessary, and published.  The new Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 has taken an interesting turn.  Usually, the recommendations are for healthy Americans aged two years and older.  But this time, the guidelines are aimed at Americans two years and older, including those at increased risk of chronic disease

This is important with the current increase in obesity and chronic diseases, which can be prevented with diet and lifestyle modifications.  Obviously, the previous recommendations have not been getting through. 

New recommendations focus on choosing nutrient-rich foods and beverages.  This means foods that pack a lot of nutrients, and not just empty calories—vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seafood, lean proteins, and healthy fats.  They recommend replacing solid fats with oils (that means replacing saturated fats with mono- and polyunsaturated fats) when possible, and restricting saturated fat intake to less than 10 percent of total calories for the day. 

Another important recommendation is to limit the consumption of refined grains, added sugar and sodium (salt).  When it comes to the Standard American Diet (SAD), those three items are practically staples! 

Widespread recommendations like these have certainly been made before.  What I want to see is the food industry taking the cue and working to bring our foods back to their original state—WHOLE!  I say, the less processed, the better. 

This week, take a look at the foods you eat.  Do they contain added sugars?  What kinds of fats are present?  How about sodium?  Do you even know how much you’re getting?  Also track how many servings of fruits and veggies you eat daily.  (Hint: potatoes should not count as a main veggie—we’re looking for a rainbow of colors, folks!)