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Published by: Susan on Sep 14, 2012
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Lie can be hectic, and sometimes its hard to take the time tomake healthy ood choices. But making wise ood choices—along with regular physical activity—can oer big benets, now and in the uture. Good nutrition may help you lower your risk o some chronic diseases, have healthy pregnancies and healthy babies, and reach and stay at a healthy body weight. Healthy eating habits can help you eel your best—today and every day.
Healthy eating plan
 You might eel conused by all the con-ficting inormation you hear about whatto eat. But, in reality, a healthy eatingplan can help you make wise ood choic-es. A healthy eating plan includes:
ruits and vegetables
 whole grains
at-ree or low-at versions o milk, cheese, yogurt, and othermilk products
lean meats, poultry, sh, dry beans andpeas, eggs, and nuts What should you limit? Your healthy eating plan should be low in:
saturated at
cholesterol (koh-LESS-tur-ol)
salt (sodium)
added sugars
alcoholI you’re a vegetarian, you can still havea healthy eating plan, even i you avoidsome oods.
Women and Nutrition
Women have special nutritional needsthroughout life. For more informationon folic acid, vitamin D, iron, and calci-um—some of the vitamins and mineralsyou need to be healthy—see pages 325and 326.
Healthy eating also means there’s a bal-ance between the number o calories youeat and the number o calories you burn. Your body burns calories two ways:
 The Healthy Woman: A Complete Guide for All Ages
through daily routine activities andbody unctions, such as sitting, movingaround, breathing, and digesting
 with physical activity, such as walking,biking, or other orms o exercise
Getting personalizedrecommendations about eating
 Where can you turn or reliable inor-mation, tailored to your needs? Here aretwo options.
 You can use the MyPyramid oodguidance system, a system developedby the U.S. Department o Agricul-ture (USDA) to help Americans makehealthy ood choices. Te guidelines inthis chapter are based on this system.On the MyPyramid Web site, youcan get a ood plan based on your age, weight, height, sex, and activity level. Te plan will show you what kinds andhow much ood to eat each day. TeMyPyramid Web site also has work-sheets and helpul hints.
 You can see a registered dietitian or apersonalized nutrition plan. Your doc-tor can provide a reerral. Or you cancontact the American Dietetic Asso-ciation or the name o a dietitian near you.
What is a calorie?
A calorie is a measure of the energyused by the body and of the energythat food supplies to the body.Carbohydrates, proteins, fats, andalcohol all have calories. Your caloricneeds are determined by your age,your sie, how physically active youare, whether you are pregnant orbreastfeeding, and other special condi-tions. Your caloric needs also dependon whether you want to lose or gainweight or keep your weight where it is.
 Web sites and phone numbers or My-Pyramid and the American Dietetic Association are listed in the resourcesection on page 335.
Tips for making wise food choices
Here are some tips to get you started onmaking wise ood choices. For more de-tailed inormation, check out MyPyramidonline or see
 A Healthier You
, publishedby the U.S. Department o Health andHuman Services, also available online.
 A Healthier You
: Free BookAbout Nutrition With Recipes
Want to learn how to make smart food
and tness choices for good health?
Based on the 2005 Dietary Guidelinesfor Americans,
 A Healthier You
canshow you how. It also includes recipesand tips for eating out. See the Website listed on page 335, under U.S.Department of Health and HumanServices, to view the book online andorder print copies.
Make sure at least hal o your grainchoices are whole grain. Examples o grain oods are cereals, breads, crackers,and pasta. Check the list o ingredients.Look or grain oods that list “whole” or“whole grain” as the rst ingredient, suchas whole wheat four in bread. Wholegrains haven’t lost any ber or nutrientsrom processing. Tey help meet yournutrient needs, as do oods made romenriched grains.
Choose a variety o vegetables, including:
dark green vegetables, such as broccoli,kale, and collard greens
orange vegetables, such as carrots,sweet potatoes, and pumpkin
dry beans and peas, such aspinto beans, kidney beans, black beans, garbanzo beans, split peas,and lentils
What are nutrients?
Nutrients are substances found infood that nourish your body. Carbohy-drates, proteins, and fats are all nutri-ents. Vitamins and minerals are alsonutrients.It’s best to get nutrients from foodsinstead of vitamin and mineral supple-ments. That’s because foods provide anumber of other substances that keepyou healthy. But sometimes you mightneed to take a supplement, such aswhen you’re pregnant.

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