In the previous newsletter I spoke about the importance of making a lifestyle change instead of focusing on dieting. What I meant by this lifestyle change is eating foods that work for your body’s system, as well as providing the necessary daily nutritional value. What is the daily nutritional value that we should follow? Unfortunately, there is not just one answer, in fact the answer is different for each person and is based upon a number of factors, such as one’s age, weight, and level of physical activity.
The amount of food that a person should consume daily can be found in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) MyPyramid is a guidance established in 1994 by the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion of the USDA to improve the nutrition and well-being of Americans. MyPyramid is based on the science-based Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which includes the recommended amounts of food and physical activity that one should have. This guidance is only for the general public ages 2 and up is not meant to be the end all be all—meaning if you have health challenges such as food allergies, intolerances, heart problems, eating disorders, etc., then you need to consult with a health care provider.
MyPyramid includes the following nutrition components and servings of each major food group:
|Food Groups||Daily Serving Recommendations||1 serving example|
|Grains||3 to 8 ounces||1/2 cup cooked rice|
|Vegetables||2 to 3 cups||2 cups leafy greens|
|Fruit||1 to 2 cups||1 medium apple|
|Milk||3 to 6 cups||1 cup milk|
|Meat & Beans||3 to 6 ounces||1oz meat;1/2cup beans|
|Oils||3 to 6 teaspoons||1 teaspoon oil|
|Discretionary Calories||165 to 510 calories||Butter, wine|
Please note that these recommendations also depend on your age, gender, level of activity, as well as your current health conditions. If you need more assistance with putting together a balanced nutritional meal plan that is tailored specifically for you, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 “MyPyramid.gov.” United States Department of Agriculture. May 29, 2008 <http://www.mypyramid.gov/>.