Healthy Foods & Drinks - PrastiOne.Com

Healthy Foods & Drinks

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Healthy Foods & Drinks

Food and drinks are necessary for survival and the gathering and preparation of foods and beverages consumes a large portion of our daily lives and consists of a large portion of the economy. People have become accustomed to easy access processed foods. Whereas the viewpoint of food was once "eat to live", it is now "live to eat".

Among other things, this change in philosophy seems to have correlated with the increased size of the American population. The ease at which food can be obtained, the multitude of food choices, the speed of both food production and preparation has all contributed to the growing waistline and declining nutritional values. As of 2010, approximately 66% of adults over age 20 are overweight to obese. Diabetes and childhood obesity are on the rise. Is it possible in this world of convenient fast meals and processed foods to live to eat without gaining weight, raising our cholesterol levels and increasing our risk to diabetes?

Healthy eating in the new century is easier than ever. Rather than turning to processed foods and drinks, buying high fat fast foods or eating sugary snacks people can use the convenience of today's markets to make healthy food and drink choices. The trend toward healthy eating is spreading. Grocery stores now offer many fresh snacks, ready-made meals, energy drinks and even post easy to see nutritional information. Fast food chains are now cooking with healthier oils, eliminating saturate fats, offering lower calorie meals and offering non-sugary beverages in children's meals. Farmers markets offering fresh local organic produce can be found in most cities. All of these changes have happened quickly so a review on what exactly is healthy eating and drinking may be needed for the benefits to take place throughout the population.

Many people are familiar with the U.S. guidelines for proper nutrition whether it is knowledge of the four basic food groups or familiarity with the food pyramid. Advances in research have led the U S Department of Agriculture and the U S Office of Health and Human Resources to update the guidelines for healthy eating. Now these guidelines will be updated every five years. New guidelines will be published April 20, 2010 based on the latest research. The old guidelines recommended four food groups and the amounts people consume have been changed. There are now six food groups and recommendations are made not based on specific serving sizes of each group, but on a nutrient dense plan. Recommendations are made for special groups including children, women, those over fifty and even vegetarians or other special diets.

The new food groups are: grains, vegetables, fruits, milk, meat and beans, oils and discretionary calories. Currently the departments suggest a healthy diet include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat or fat-free milk products. Include but in moderation lean meats, fish, beans, eggs and nuts. Limit saturated fats, cholesterol, salt and added sugars.

An all-around healthy diet includes nutrient dense foods from a variety of the food groups. Emphasis is on colorful vegetables and fruit, limit intake of animal proteins and use oils sparingly. Variety and individuality in diet is important. No two people have the same nutrient needs; each should examine their own eating plan and adjust accordingly.

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