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Healthy Eating Tips - New US Dietary Guidelines Just Released

by kelly / January, 13 2016 01:30

The New Year is always a good time to kick start healthy habits for you and your skin. Thus it's perfect timing that the US Government released their latest "Dietary Guidelines For Americans 2015-2020". The guide provides recommended healthy dietary information and eating patterns.

Good skin is a reflection of what you put inside your body in addition to what you put on the outside (yes wear sunscreen everyday people). Have you ever heard the saying "you are what you eat"? To start 2016 off right we're offering healthy eating tips from the guide to help you look and feel your best.

The guides are published every five years and provide over 500 pages of dietary information researched by top professionals in the fields of nutrition, health, and medicine in partnership with the US Department of Health and Human Services and US Department of Agriculture. Now I don't expect you to read all 500 pages so I'll summarize and interpret the key points with the help of CNN. These are all suggestions according to the US government for a "healthy eating pattern" rather than a "rigid prescription" and "an adaptable framework in which individuals can enjoy foods that meet their personal, cultural, and traditional preferences and fit within their budget."

Limit Sugar

For the first time the government called for a limit on sugar - recommending that added sugar should only make up 10% of daily calories (based on a 2,000 calorie a day diet). To put that in perspective, drinking a can of full sugar soda will put you at or over the limit. I unfortunately have a sweet tooth but too much sugar increases risk to heart disease, diabetes and cancer - yikes! Let's all commit to limiting our intake of sugar in 2016!

Not All Fat is Created Equal

There are two kinds of fats - the good and the bad. Good fats include heart healthy Omega-3 fatty acids that are found in some fish and eggs. Bad fats also known as saturated fats are found in processed or fatty meats and high-fat dairy products. Good fats can be vital to health while saturated fats are higher in dietary cholesterol and can increase risk of cardiovascular disease.

The government recommends a diet in protein-rich food from good fat sources such as seafood, eggs, lean meat and poultry while limiting the intake of saturated fat to 10% of daily calories. For vegetarians the guide recommends getting good fat / protein from soy products, beans, lentils and seeds.

Finally the guide called for eating as little trans fat as possible - which is harder to find after the US Food and Drug Administration told food companies to eliminate it.

Don't Get Too Salty

The guide recommends eating only about a teaspoon of salt a day (about 2,300 milligrams). I know that sounds hard right? But the American Heart Association recommends even less (1,500 milligrams). Too much salt can lead to high blood pressure. CNN recommends using alternatives like turmeric, thyme or allspice to add flavoring to food.

Eat Your Fruits and Veggies

Yes we've heard it before from our parents and probably everyone else - eating whole fruits and vegetables is just good for you. Here is a great summary from CNN on the guide's recommendation regarding fruits and veggies.

"The guidelines recommend eating 2½ cups of a wide variety of vegetables from all the subgroups of colors and starches a day. A hidden advantage of this suggestion is that it can make you feel full without eating a lot of calories. The suggested two cups of fruit a day, with half coming in the form of whole fruit, provides many essential vitamins and some have high fiber, which helps with digestion. A diet rich in fruits and vegetables helps prevent heart disease and Type 2 diabetes, too."

In summary, a healthy eating plan on average should include limiting sugar and saturated fat, less salt and more vegetables and fruits. With a balanced diet + daily sunblock things should be looking great for your skin in 2016!

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