Food and Nutrition Services - NUTRITION BITES

DECEMBER, 2013

  •          A person will eat an average of 35 tons of food in his or her lifetime or 1,500 pounds of food a year. 

  •          Americans collectively consume approximately 900 billion calories each day.

  •          Eggs contain the highest quality food protein known.  All parts of an egg are edible including the shell, which has a high calcium content. 

  •          Vitamin D is unusual because it is the only vitamin that can be synthesized in the body.

  •          Eating breakfast regularly will help to keep weight off because it gets your metabolism going.  At breakfast try to include lean protein, whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

  •          Fruits and vegetables add color, flavor and texture in addition to vitamins, minerals and fiber to your meals so aim to make half your plate filled with fruits and vegetables. 

  •          Add more fruits into your diet by making a habit of adding fruit to your morning oatmeal, ready-to-eat cereal, yogurt or waffle.

  •          The average American adult drinks 500 cans of soda every year.  One can of regular soda contains 10 teaspoons of sugar.  Try substituting soda with water that contains lime or lemons for additional flavor. 

  •          About 90% of Americans eat more sodium than is recommended.  The 2010 Dietary Guidelines recommends Americans consume 2300 mg or less a day.  One tsp of salt equals 2300 mg of sodium.

  •          Most of the sodium we eat comes from processed food and foods prepared in restaurants.  A food is considered low in sodium when it has 140 mg of sodium or less per serving. 

  •          Fiber is an important nutrient in the diet.  Its health benefits include maintaining normal bowel function, weight management, diabetes control, fighting heart disease and cancer protection. 

  •          When consuming fiber make sure to drink plenty of water to prevent constipation.

  •          Omega-3 fats are healthy fats.  The most heart-healthy omega-3 fats are from oily fish such a salmon, tuna, sardines, mackerel and herring.

  •          The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two (3.5 oz) servings each week of fish especially fatty fish.  In general, a 3.5 oz serving of fatty fish provides about 1 gram of omega-3 fatty acids.

  •          Trans fats should be limited in the diet because they tend to raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower HDL (good) cholesterol.

  •          Are you eating the proper portion size?  Try using measuring cups to see how close your portions are to the recommended serving size.  Using smaller plates, bowls and glasses can help keep portions under control.

  •          Drinking water is important because it allows our bodies to regulate temperature, transport nutrients and oxygen to cells and carry away waste products.  For generally healthy people the Dietary Reference Intakes from the Institute of Medicine recommend a total daily intake of 13 cups of water for men and 9 cups for women. 

  •          Iron is one of the keys to good health and energy levels, especially in women.  Iron-rich food sources include red meat, chicken, turkey, pork, fish, kale, spinach, beans, lentils and fortified breads and cereals.  Plant-based sources of iron are more easily absorbed when eaten with vitamin C-rich foods, so try eating a spinach salad topped with mandarin orange slices. 

  •          Always eating on the go?  Tuck portable, nonperishable foods in your purse, briefcase or backpack for a healthy snack on the run.  Some suggestions are peanut butter and crackers, granola bars, a piece of fresh fruit, trail mix and single serve packages of whole grain cereal or crackers. 

  •          One way to eat healthier while eating out is to split your order.  Share an extra large sandwich or main course with a friend take half home for another meal. 

  •          Tea has been shown to be a heart healthy beverage.  Its benefits can be attributed to its antioxidants.  The flavonoids in both black and green tea prevent oxidation of LDL-cholesterol, reduce blood clotting and improve widening of blood vessels in the heart.

  •          Prebiotics are natural, non-digestible food ingredients that are linked to promoting the growth of helpful bacteria in your gut.  Some prebiotic foods include bananas, onions, garlic, leeks, asparagus, artichokes, soybeans and whole-wheat foods.

  •          Season your meals with fresh herbs and spices.  They are packed with flavor and are antioxidant rich. 

  •          Food Safety is an important aspect of eating healthy.  Wash your hands thoroughly in warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds before, after and during food preparation.  This is especially important after handling raw meat or seafood. 

  •          For adequate nutrition recovery after a workout itís important to eat a snack or meal within 15-60 minutes following exercise.