Tag: USDA

Does Healthy Food Cost More Than Junk Food?

by in Food News, June 21, 2012
apple on money
Does eating well cost more money?

Does following a healthy diet mean dishing out more dough? Not necessarily. A new study published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture revealed that healthy food isn’t any more expensive than junk food.

The Studies
With more than one-third of U.S. adults being overweight and a push from the Obama administration to fight rising obesity levels, this new study sheds light on budgetary concerns when it comes to healthy eating.

Previous studies were highly criticized for comparing the cost of food per calorie. These studies found that pastries and chips and cheaper than fruit and veggies. The newest study conducted by the Agricultural Department compared cost of foods by weight or portion size which reveals that grains, veggies, fruit and dairy foods are less costly than most meats or foods high in added sugar, salt, or artery-clogging saturated fat. The study found that carrots, banana, lettuce and pinto beans were all cheaper per portion than soda, ice cream, ground beef or French fries.

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Get Your Plate in Shape: Dinner

by in Healthy Recipes, March 21, 2012
sausage lasagna
A piece of this lasagna plus a green salad and even some dessert equals a well-balanced meal.

In honor of National Nutrition Month we’re giving you meal ideas that follow the USDA’s MyPlate recommendations. We’ve covered breakfast and lunch—now it’s dinner time.

The Guidelines
Ending the day with a well-balanced meal is important. This is your last big change to take in any nutrients you may not have gotten enough of during the day. For example, if you have pasta primavera for lunch, be sure to include 3 to 4 ounces of protein for dinner. If you didn’t get in all your fruits during the day, make sure to add one for dessert.

Meal 1: Lasagna
Sausage Lasagna
Green Salad With Strawberry-Balsamic Vinaigrette
Baked Banana With Cinnamon and Honey

Food groups: protein, grain, dairy, fruit, veggie

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Get Your Plate in Shape: Lunch

by in Healthy Recipes, March 15, 2012
peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Pack a lunch that meets the MyPlate guidelines.

We’re continuing our celebration of National Nutrition Month; last week we gave you breakfast options that follow the USDA’s MyPlate guidelines; now on to lunch.

The Guidelines
The guidelines for lunch are pretty similar to breakfast. You want to make sure half of your plate is filled with fruit and veggies, ¼ with grains and ¼ with lean protein. Although the MyPlate photo shows milk as a side beverage, it’s not a must at every meal. You can get in your dairy in the form of low-fat or nonfat cheese or yogurt too.

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New USDA Online Food Log: SuperTracker

by in Food News, February 12, 2012
my plate
Keeping track of the good stuff you put on your plate just got easier.

Keeping healthy eating goals on track just got easier thanks to the USDA’s free online food-and-exercise log, SuperTracker. This new tool uses the government My Plate recommendations to dole out eating advice, as well as quality nutrition information.

The SuperTracker’s main features include: a food tracker, a physical activity tracker, a weight manager and a Food-A-Pedia containing around 9,000 food items that have been analyzed for nutritional content by the USDA.

“If it says ‘burrito with whole-wheat tortilla,’ we did the calculation to know the exact amount of whole grains that contains,” says Dr. Robert Post, Deputy Director of the USDA’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. “That is very different than most databases that rely on the nutritional facts on product packages.”

Customize advice based on age, weight and gender, plus set goals, journal, track weight and even receive virtual coaching with recommendations on what to eat and how much to exercise. Get detailed reports of nutrient intake over time or simply find out how many calories are in your upcoming meal. Mobile apps are being developed, Post says. Until then, share progress on Facebook and Twitter.

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5 Things To Know About New Dietary Guidelines

by in Food News, Healthy Tips, July 8, 2010

colorful produce

More plants. More whole grains. Less meat.  The USDA’s 2010 update to its nutrition guidelines recommends a diet that sounds like it’s straight out of a Michael Pollan essay, but how do they affect you? Well, the guidelines, which are updated every five years, provide nutrition advice and advocate a diet that will reduce the nation’s risks for heart disease, cancer and diabetes. The recommendations are also used as a standard in federal programs, like U.S. school breakfasts and lunches.  Here are 5 things you  need to know about the new guidelines.

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