Nutrition Guide for a Healthy Lifestyle

This is going to be nutrition overload. It’s important to not get overwhelmed or feel the need to make ALL of these changes immediately. Making small changes make the biggest difference.

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What is a Dietitian

A Registered Dietitian, aka RD, is a nutrition professional who helps people make dietary changes and food choices to support a healthy lifestyle.

My dream is to become a RD and continue sharing my passion and knowledge with you all!

Leading Nutrition Related Diseases

4 out of 10 leading causes of death are related to nutrition. Those 4 include: heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and stroke. You have the power and ability to decrease these risks by living a healthier lifestyle!

Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range

Carbohydrates 45-65%
Protein 10-35%
Fat 20-35%

Example: If you are eating 2000 calories/day
50% of carbs = 1000calories
30% Fat = 600 calories or 67g
20% Protein = 400 calories or 100g

Most commonly Under-consumed and Over-consumed Nutrients

Under-consumed: Vitamin D, Fiber (goal 25-38g/day), Calcium, Potassium

Over-consumed: Sodium (goal is less than 2,300mg/day = 1 tsp/day), Solid fat, Added sugar, Refined grains, Alcohol

Nutrition Websites I refer to

Choose My Plate
Eat Right

My Plate

Based on 2000 calories/day

Grains 6oz – Make at least 1/2 your grain whole (whole wheat bread, brown rice)
Veggies 2.5cups – Vary your veggies. Different colors = different nutrients
Fruit 2 cups – Focus on whole fruits for more fiber.
Dairy 3cups – Eat Calcium rich foods, milk, greek yogurt, cheese.
Protein 5.5oz – Go lean with protein. More fish, chicken breast, beans
Oils 2 tbsp- Limit solid fats like butter, instead use olive oil
Sodium Intake – Less than 2,300mg/day which is 1tsp/day
Solid fat and added sugar – Less than 10% of total calories

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Characteristics of a Healthy Diet

Adequate – Getting enough from each food group (carbs, fats, protein)
Moderate – Limiting added sugar, sodium, and avoiding trans fat
Balance
Varied – Variety of foods, different colors of fruits and vegetables
Nutrient Dense – High nutrients for low calories such as healthy oils, fruits and veggies, whole grains, lean protein. We eat too much energy dense foods, low nutritional value for high amount of calories.

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Evaluate Nutrition Claims

Look for peer-reviewed or trade publications.

The peer review must have an abstract, intro, method, results, discussion, conclusion and references. A trade publication is a shorter version of a peer-reviewed journal. It includes researcher credentials (look for RD, PhD, etc), who was the funding agency, evaluate the type of research study (epidemiological vs intervention), and most importantly apply practical application.

Credibility of website

Let’s be real, anyone can say anything on a website. You have to be able to know whether the claims are true or false. Here are some tips to distinguish a legit website:

Is the information up to date? You can’t believe something that was written 5-10 years ago. Nutrition research is always evolving.
Does the website sell products? This could lead to biased opinions that may or may not be true.
Does it include peer-reviewed journals? Peer reviewed journals have credibility. Journals have to be reviewed by experts in the same field in order to be approved.
Does the website state who is the writer and their background/education? Look for the credentials of the writer. I personally need to see RD or PhD in order for me to fully believe the claims websites make.
Is it a quick fix? Is it too good to be true? Is it a single study research? These indications are red flags and most likely not valid.

  • Top 10 Things You Need to Know about the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

  • Full article here!
  • 1. Healthy eating prevents risk of chronic disease (ex. type 2 diabetes, heart disease)
    2. Healthy eating is one of the most powerful tools we have to reduce the onset of disease
    3. The path to improving health through nutrition is to follow a healthy eating pattern that’s right for you
  • 4. Healthy eating pattern includes: variety of vegetables, whole fruits, whole grains, a variety of protein foods (beans, seafood, lean meat), healthy oils (olive oil).
  • 5. Limit added sugar in foods and drinks
  • 6. Limit saturated fat to less than 10% of total calories and avoid trans fat
  • 7. Limit sodium intake to less than 2,300mg/day
  • 8. Make small shifts in daily eating habits to improve health over the long run
  • 9. Exercise
  • 10. Support others living a healthy lifestyle

If you didn’t want to read everything…

Keep it simple and take one thing from above that you can improve on. Don’t get discouraged if you fall off the wagon, get back on and keep moving forward. Remember that we all started somewhere.

In the beginning of my journey I was overwhelmed and didn’t know where to start. I eventually realized I needed to focus on 4 important things: more water, more color on my plate, portion control, and consistent exercise.

You can do it!!!

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