Energize Yourself and Your Family (cont.)
Save Time and Money When You Cook
You do not have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen or a lot of money to eat well.
Reading Food Labels
Food labels may help you make healthy food choices.*
But they can be confusing. Here are some quick tips for reading food labels:
Check serving and calories. All the information on a food label is based on the serving size. Be careful-one serving may be much smaller than you think. If you double the servings you eat, you double the calories and nutrients, including the percent Daily Values (DVs).
Percent DV: This tells you whether a food is high or low in nutrients. Foods that have more than 20-percent DV of a nutrient are high. Foods that have 5-percent DV or less are low.
Saturated Fat: Saturated fat is not healthy for your heart. Compare labels on similar foods and try to choose foods that have a 5-percent DV or less for saturated fat. Most of the fats you eat should be polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Keep total fat intake between 20 percent to 35 percent of calories.
Trans Fat: Trans fat is not healthy for your heart. When reading food labels, add together the grams of trans fat and saturated fat, and choose foods with the lowest combined amount.
Cholesterol: Too much cholesterol is not healthy for your heart. Keep your intake of saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol as low as possible.
Sodium (Salt): Salt contains sodium. Research shows that eating less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium (about 1 teaspoon of salt) per day may reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
Fiber: Choose foods that are rich in fiber, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Sugar: Try to choose foods with little or no added sugar (like low-sugar cereals).
Calcium: Choose foods that are high in calcium. Foods that are high in calcium have at least 20-percent DV.
For more information, read the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
Eating on the Go
In real life, you cannot always cook your meals or eat at the dinner table. Here are some ways to make healthy choices when you are on the go:
Keeping Track of Serving Sizes
Many people think that bigger is better. We are so used to value-sized portions in restaurants that it is easy to eat more than our bodies need. Eating smaller portions will help you cut down on calories and fat (and might save you money, too). Here is a 1,600-calorie per day sample menu with sensible servings:*
2 ounces baked chicken without skin (a little smaller than a deck of cards)
Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox FREE!