If you want to be healthy


As a registered dietitian, I’ve been trained lớn encourage people to lớn eat in moderation. Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? So, well, er … moderate. I was feeling pretty smug about the moderation message until recently when someone threw down a tweeted gauntlet.

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What IS moderation?

There it was. The tweet was challenging me to lớn define a very subjective term – và in no more than 140 characters! I thought for a moment và tweeted in reply: “Moderation is eating less than you’d lượt thích of the foods you like!”

OK, I know my somewhat smarty-pants tweet didn’t really answer the question, but I will try to bởi vì that now that I have much more space to post a response.

Moderation is Personal

Dietary and caloric needs vary from person khổng lồ person which means that what is moderate intake for one person can be excessive or inadequate for another person. The first step lớn define moderation for you is to determine your recommended target intakes for grains, fruits, vegetables, dairy, và protein as well as the total number of calories you should consume each day. An easy way to vì this is lớn go to lớn the USDA’s SuperTracker site.

After you create a profile and enter in your age, height, weight, gender, và physical activity level, the site will give you a personal plan that shows your daily food group targets including what và how many servings to eat within your calorie allowance. Then you can enter what you’re actually eating each day in Food Tracker to lớn see where you stand. Are you getting enough vegetable servings each day? Are you getting too many grain servings? How about total calories?

Easy Changes You Can Make

Using this site, you can also see if you’re overeating one or more of the macronutrients — proteins, fats, or carbohydrates — by generating a Nutrients Report. Calories from proteins should be 10-35%, from fats 20-35%, and from carbs 45-65% of your total recommended calories.

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If you regularly exceed the recommended percentage of carbs:

Choose more whole grain products instead of those made with refined grainsChoose whole fruits instead of fruit juiceChoose water and beverages sweetened with low and no-calorie sweetenersFill up on low carb vegetables instead of breads, rice, và pasta

If you regularly exceed the recommended percentage of fats:

Choose leaner food preparation techniques such as roasting or grilling instead of fryingMany proteins carry fat with them, so look at the proteins you’re eating to lớn see if you can substitute leaner versions such as chicken breast without the skin for dark meat chicken with the skin; vị trí cao nhất round beef instead of ribeye steaks; low or fat không lấy phí dairy instead of full fat versionsUse butter, margarines, oils, and cheese sparinglyUse low fat or fat không tính tiền salad dressings và mayonnaise

If you regularly exceed the recommended percentage of proteins:

Choose more plant-based proteins lượt thích legumes instead of animal proteinsLimit your portion kích thước of animal proteins khổng lồ a 3 oz serving (about the size of a deck of cards)Follow the USDA’s MyPlate recommendations và keep protein khổng lồ less than one-quarter of the space on your plate


One Last Tip …

Don’t let inflated portion sizes get in the way of your quest for moderation. You may underestimate how much you’re actually eating because you’re unsure what an appropriate portion size should be – hint: it’s probably smaller than you think! The USDA’s “Portion Distortion” section can help with that. It has two fun quizzes lớn give you a better idea of just what a moderate serving should look like.

Ellen Stokes, MS, RD, LD is an award-winning clip producer, director, and writer in addition lớn being a registered dietitian. Ellen writes và creates videos about nutrition education, food safety, thực đơn planning, grocery shopping, and healthful cooking on a budget. Ellen has worked with organizations and companies including WebMD, the Partnership for Food Safety Education, và the University of Georgia Food Science Department. Ellen formerly worked for CNN as a writer và producer và teaches food safety và nutrition for Georgia State University. Check her out on Twitter

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