Main recommendations of the new dietary guidelines for Americans
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans provides recommendations for healthy
eating patterns that the public can adopt. It’s reviewed, updated if necessary, and
published every five years. The newest edition, Dietary Guidelines for Americans,
2010 was released at the end of January 2011. You can view all of the findings by
going to dietaryguidelines.gov, but here are the Key Recommendations and a few
Balancing Calories to Manage Weight
Control calorie intake and increase physical activity; enjoy your food but watch portions.
Foods and Food Components to Reduce
• Reduce sodium intake to less than 2,300mg/day or 1,500mg/day for people who are 51 and older and/or have certain conditions including diabetes and hypertension.
• Reduce intake of solid fats and added sugars (“SoFAS” is the new acronym that you may hear for solid fats and added sugars).
Foods and Nutrients to Increase
• Increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk products.
• Increase intake of potassium, dietary fiber, calcium and vitamin D—found in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and milk and milk products.
• Choose nutrient-dense foods and beverages: vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat milk and milk products, seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, beans and peas, and (unsalted) nuts and seeds.
Building Healthy Eating Patterns
Follow an eating pattern that is at an appropriate calorie level and helps to get the nutrients you need over time.
Tips For Including the recommendations in your Day:
• Use the NuVal™ Nutritional Scoring System at all Meijer stores to find healthier food products. The higher the nuVal™ Score, the better the nutrition.
• Include a variety of forms of fruits and vegetables into your meals and snacks. Try Mott’s® natural apple Sauce or Barilla® Garden Vegetable pasta Sauce.
• Snack on nutrient-rich nuts, such as planters nut-rition heart healthy Mix.
• Look for whole grains and high-fiber foods including whole-wheat pasta, barilla® pLuS® pasta, brown rice, oatmeal and 100% whole-wheat bread.
• Choose calcium-rich low-fat Dannon® yogurt for a side item at lunch.
From our Meijer Pharmacy:
What is Osteoporosis?
Osteoporosis is a loss of bone mass causing bones to be weak and more susceptible to breaking, which commonly affects the spine, hips and wrists.
Who is at risk?
While the disease affects people of all ages, including currently over 10 million Americans, 68% of these afflicted are women. Additionally, 34 million Americans are at risk for developing osteoporosis as a result of their current low bone mass. Nearly 1 out of every 2 women and 1 out of every 4 men will experience a fracture as a result of their weakened bones.
Additional Risk Factors: Increasing age; small, thin build; Caucasian & Asian women; Family history; post menopause; low estrogen; Low dietary consumption of Calcium and Vitamin D; lack of exercise; smoking; excessive alcohol use; taking certain types of medications, including long term oral steroids
Who should be screened?
Bone mineral density tests can be conducted by contacting your physician to determine your risk for osteoporosis and tells you how much bone density you may have already lost. You should talk with your doctor about these tests if you are concerned or over age 64, postmenopausal with a history of bone fractures or receiving long-term treatment with steroids.
What can I do to prevent?
The easiest way to help build and maintain strong bones is to consume calcium and vitamin D, either through the foods you eat or a supplement. The current recommendations for the average adult to age 50 is 1000mg/day Ca and 200 IU of vitamin D. Persons aged 50 or older need approximately 1200mg/Ca and between 400-600 IU of vitamin D. It’s very important to spread out when you are taking your supplement since your body can only absorb about 500mg Ca per serving. The vitamin D is essential to allow the calcium to fully absorb into your bones. While sunlight does aid in the production of Vitamin D, most Americans do not get enough sunlight to meet their daily requirements. In addition to supplements, weight-bearing exercising can make a significant difference to your bone health. Also, smoking has been linked to poor bone health, so talk to your doctor about programs to help you stop.
What is menopause and how do I know if I am going through the change?
Menopause is caused by the decline in estrogen and progesterone levels and is associated with certain signs and symptoms such as mood swings, increase in abdominal fat, vaginal dryness, hot flashes, night sweats, loss of breast fullness and irregular menstrual cycles. Although the beginning of menopause may vary from woman to woman, it generally begins around age 51.
Are there any health problems associated with menopause?
YES! As estrogen decreases, the risk for heart disease increases. Weigh gain can occur because your body usually needs 200-400 calories FEWER per day. Also, cholesterol levels may rise. Since heart disease is the leading cause of death in mean AND men, it is very important to get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked on a regular basis.
Are there any medications or supplements that I can take to help?
It is always important to talk to your health care professional, like your Meijer Pharmacist, first before starting any medications or supplements. While herbal OTC supplements may help, studies have not shown consistent efficacy and are not regulated by the FDA and may cause unwanted side effects or have drug interactions with other medications.
Examples: Calcium, evening primrose, flaxseed, soy, dong quai, DHEA, black cohosh.