The simple design encourages people to make half their plate fruit and vegetables. The new campaign also urges Americans to enjoy food, but eat less of it, avoid oversize portions and drink water instead of sugary drinks.
In addition, it was designed to slim Americans’ waistlines. Two-thirds of American adults and one-third of children are overweight or obese.
How does it help your heart?
Being obese puts you at a higher risk for health problems, such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure and diabetes. Obesity is mainly caused by taking in more calories than are used up in physical activity and daily life. When people eat too many calories, or too much saturated fat, trans-fat and cholesterol, it often raises their blood cholesterol levels. That raises the risk of heart disease.
Along with regular exercise, following the USDA’s guidelines for healthy eating can help us watch our calorie intake.
How to eat healthier?
A Web site, ChooseMyPlate.com, has been created to help you follow the new guidelines. The site includes recommendations for meals and tips for avoiding certain food, like high-fat, salty meats.
Tips from the Web site include:
• Avoid oversized portions.
• Make at least half your grains whole grains.
• Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk.
• Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
• Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread and frozen meals, and choose the foods with lower numbers
• Go lean with protein.
• Vary your veggies.
Chest Pain & Stroke Hotline
If you have questions about heart attack or stroke symptoms, you can talk to a Western Baptist nurse free 24 hours a day on the Chest Pain & Stroke Hotline: 1-800-575-1911
Send your questions!
Do you have a cardiac question tugging at your heart? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail it to HeartBeat, 2501 Kentucky Ave., Paducah, KY 42003. If we use it in a future HeartBeat column, you will receive a Western Baptist Hospital door prize.