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Good Food

 

Whole Grains

Any food made from wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or another cereal grain is a grain product. Bread, pasta, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and grits are examples of grain products.

Grains are divided into 2 subgroups, whole grains and refined grains.

Whole grains contain the entire grain kernel -- the bran, germ, and endosperm. Examples include:

  • whole-wheat flour
  • bulgur (cracked wheat)
  • oatmeal
  • whole cornmeal
  • brown rice

Refined grains have been milled, a process that removes the bran and germ. This is done to give grains a finer texture and improve their shelf life, but it also removes dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins. Some examples of refined grain products are:

  • white flour
  • degermed cornmeal
  • white bread
  • white rice

Most refined grains are enriched. This means certain B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid) and iron are added back after processing. Fiber is not added back to enriched grains. Check the ingredient list on refined grain products to make sure that the word “enriched” is included in the grain name. Some food products are made from mixtures of whole grains and refined grains.

Some commonly eaten grain products are:

Whole grains

Refined grains

brown rice
buckwheat
bulgur (cracked wheat)
oatmeal
popcornReady-to-eat breakfast cereals:

whole wheat cereal flakes
muesli

whole grain barley
whole grain cornmeal
whole rye
whole wheat bread
whole wheat crackers
whole wheat pasta
whole wheat sandwich buns and rolls
whole wheat tortillas
wild rice

Less common whole grains:

amaranth
millet
quinoa
sorghum
triticale
cornbread*
corn tortillas*
couscous*
crackers*
flour tortillas*
grits
noodles*Pasta*

spaghetti
macaroni

pitas*
pretzels

Ready-to-eat breakfast cereals

corn flakes

white bread
white sandwich buns and rolls
white rice.

*Most of these products are made from refined grains. Some are made from whole grains. Check the ingredient list for the words “whole grain” or “whole wheat” to decide if they are made from a whole grain. Some foods are made from a mixture of whole and refined grains.Some grain products contain significant amounts of bran. Bran provides fiber, which is important for health. However, products with added bran or bran alone (e.g., oat bran) are not necessarily whole grain products.
* information supplied by U. S. Department of Agriculture

 

Tips on Whole Grains

 

At Meals:

 

  • To eat more whole grains, substitute a whole-grain product for a refined product – such as eating whole-wheat bread instead of white bread or brown rice instead of white rice. It’s important to substitute the whole-grain product for the refined one, rather than adding the whole-grain product.
  • For a change, try brown rice or whole-wheat pasta. Try brown rice stuffing in baked green peppers or tomatoes and whole-wheat macaroni in macaroni and cheese.
  • Use whole grains in mixed dishes, such as barley in vegetable soup or stews and bulgur wheat in casserole or stir-fries.
  • Create a whole grain pilaf with a mixture of barley, wild rice, brown rice, broth and spices. For a special touch, stir in toasted nuts or chopped dried fruit.
  • Experiment by substituting whole wheat or oat flour for up to half of the flour in pancake, waffle, muffin or other flour-based recipes. They may need a bit more leavening.
  • Use whole-grain bread or cracker crumbs in meatloaf.
  • Try rolled oats or a crushed, unsweetened whole grain cereal as breading for baked chicken, fish, veal cutlets, or eggplant parmesan.
  • Try an unsweetened, whole grain ready-to-eat cereal as croutons in salad or in place of crackers with soup.
  • Freeze leftover cooked brown rice, bulgur, or barley. Heat and serve it later as a quick side dish.

As Snacks:

  • Snack on ready-to-eat, whole grain cereals such as toasted oat cereal.
  • Add whole-grain flour or oatmeal when making cookies or other baked treats.
  • Try a whole-grain snack chip, such as baked tortilla chips.
  • Popcorn, a whole grain, can be a healthy snack with little or no added salt and butter.

What to Look for on the Food Label:

  • Choose foods that name one of the following whole-grain ingredients first on the label’s ingredient list:
    “brown rice”
    “bulgur”
    “graham flour”
    “oatmeal”
    “whole-grain corn”
    “whole oats”
    “whole rye”
    “whole wheat”
    “wild rice”
    • Foods labeled with the words “multi-grain,” “stone-ground,” “100% wheat,” “cracked wheat,” “seven-grain,” or “bran” are usually not whole-grain products.
    • Color is not an indication of a whole grain. Bread can be brown because of molasses or other added ingredients. Read the ingredient list to see if it is a whole grain.
  • Use the Nutrition Facts label and choose products with a higher % Daily Value (%DV) for fiber – the %DV for fiber is a good clue to the amount of whole grain in the product.
  • Read the food label’s ingredient list. Look for terms that indicate added sugars (sucrose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, and molasses) and oils (partially hydrogenated vegetable oils) that add extra calories. Choose foods with fewer added sugars, fats, or oils.
  • Most sodium in the food supply comes from packaged foods. Similar packaged foods can vary widely in sodium content, including breads. Use the Nutrition Facts label to choose foods with a lower % DV for sodium. Foods with less than 140 mg sodium per serving can be labeled as low sodium foods. Claims such as “low in sodium” or “very low in sodium” on the front of the food label can help you identify foods that contain less salt (or sodium).

Whole Grain Tips for Children

  • Set a good example for children by eating whole grains with meals or as snacks.
  • Let children select and help prepare a whole grain side dish.
  • Teach older children to read the ingredient list on cereals or snack food packages and choose those with whole grains at the top of the list.

* information supplied by U. S. Department of Agriculture

 

Vegetables

Any vegetable or 100% vegetable juice counts as a member of the vegetable group. Vegetables may be raw or cooked; fresh, frozen, canned, or dried/dehydrated; and may be whole, cut-up, or mashed.

Vegetables are organized into 5 subgroups, based on their nutrient content.

Some commonly eaten vegetables in each subgroup are:

Dark green vegetables

Dry beans and peas

bok choy
broccoli
collard greens
dark green leafy lettuce
kale
mesclun
mustard greens
romaine lettuce
spinach
turnip greens
watercress
black beans
black-eyed peas
garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
kidney beans
lentils
lima beans (mature)
navy beans
pinto beans
soy beans
split peas
tofu (bean curd made from soybeans)
white beans

Orange vegetables

Starchy vegetables

acorn squash
butternut squash
carrots
hubbard squash
pumpkin
sweetpotatoes
corn
green peas
lima beans (green)
potatoes

Other Vegetables

artichokes
asparagus
bean sprouts
beets
Brussels sprouts
cabbage
cauliflower
celery
cucumbers
eggplant
green beans
green or red peppers
iceberg (head) lettuce
mushrooms
okra
onions
parsnips
tomatoes
tomato juice
vegetable juice
turnips
wax beans
zucchini

 

Vegetable Tips

 

In general:

 

  • Buy fresh vegetables in season. They cost less and are likely to be at their peak flavor.
  • Stock up on frozen vegetables for quick and easy cooking in the microwave.
  • Buy vegetables that are easy to prepare. Pick up pre-washed bags of salad greens and add baby carrots or grape tomatoes for a salad in minutes. Buy packages of such as baby carrots or celery sticks for quick snacks.
  • Use a microwave to quickly “zap” vegetables. White or sweet potatoes can be baked quickly this way.
  • Vary your veggie choices to keep meals interesting.
  • Try crunchy vegetables, raw or lightly steamed.

For the best nutritional value:

  • Select vegetables with more potassium often, such as sweetpotatoes, white potatoes, white beans, tomato products (paste, sauce, and juice), beet greens, soybeans, lima beans, winter squash, spinach, lentils, kidney beans, and split peas.
  • Sauces or seasonings can add calories, fat, and sodium to vegetables. Use the Nutrition Facts label to compare the calories and % Daily Value for fat and sodium in plain and seasoned vegetables.
  • Prepare more foods from fresh ingredients to lower sodium intake. Most sodium in the food supply comes from packaged or processed foods.
  • Buy canned vegetables labeled “no salt added.” If you want to add a little salt it will likely be less than the amount in the regular canned product.

At meals:

  • Plan some meals around a vegetable main dish, such as a vegetable stir-fry or soup. Then add other foods to complement it.
  • Try a main dish salad for lunch. Go light on the salad dressing.
  • Include a green salad with your dinner every night.
  • Shred carrots or zucchini into meatloaf, casseroles, quick breads, and muffins.
  • Include chopped vegetables in pasta sauce or lasagna.
  • Order a veggie pizza with toppings like mushrooms, green peppers, and onions, and ask for extra veggies.
  • Use pureed, cooked vegetables such as potatoes to thicken stews, soups and gravies. These add flavor, nutrients, and texture.
  • Grill vegetable kabobs as part of a barbecue meal. Try tomatoes, mushrooms, green peppers, and onions.

Make vegetables more appealing:

  • Many vegetables taste great with a dip or dressing. Try a low-fat salad dressing with raw broccoli, red and green peppers, celery sticks or cauliflower.
  • Add color to salads by adding baby carrots, shredded red cabbage, or spinach leaves. Include in-season vegetables for variety through the year.
  • Include cooked dry beans or peas in flavorful mixed dishes, such as chili or minestrone soup.
  • Decorate plates or serving dishes with vegetable slices.
  • Keep a bowl of cut-up vegetables in a see-through container in the refrigerator. Carrot and celery sticks are traditional, but consider broccoli florettes, cucumber slices, or red or green pepper strips.

Vegetable tips for children:

  • Set a good example for children by eating vegetables with meals and as snacks.
  • Let children decide on the dinner vegetables or what goes into salads.
  • Depending on their age, children can help shop for, clean, peel, or cut up vegetables.
  • Allow children to pick a new vegetable to try while shopping.
  • Use cut-up vegetables as part of afternoon snacks.
  • Children often prefer foods served separately. So, rather than mixed vegetables try serving two vegetables separately.

Keep it safe:

  • Wash vegetables before preparing or eating them. Under clean, running water, rub vegetables briskly with your hands to remove dirt and surface microorganisms. Dry after washing.
  • Keep vegetables separate from raw meat, poultry and seafood while shopping, preparing, or storing.

 

Fruits

Any fruit or 100% fruit juice counts as part of the fruit group. Fruits may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried, and may be whole, cut-up, or pureed.

Some commonly eaten fruits are:

 

 

Fruits

Apples
Apricots
Avocado
BananasBerries:

strawberries
blueberries
raspberries
cherries

Grapefruit
Grapes
Kiwi fruit
Lemons
Limes
Mangoes

Melons:

cantaloupe
honeydew
watermelon
Mixed fruits:

fruit cocktail

Nectarines
Oranges
Peaches
Pears
Papaya
Pineapple
Plums
Prunes
Raisins
Tangerines

100% Fruit juice:

orange
apple
grape
grapefruit

* information supplied by U. S. Department of Agriculture

 

 

Fruit Tips

 

In general:

 

  • Keep a bowl of whole fruit on the table, counter, or in the refrigerator.
  • Refrigerate cut-up fruit to store for later.
  • Buy fresh fruits in season when they may be less expensive and at their peak flavor.
  • Buy fruits that are dried, frozen, and canned (in water or juice) as well as fresh, so that you always have a supply on hand.
  • Consider convenience when shopping. Buy pre-cut packages of fruit (such as melon or pineapple chunks) for a healthy snack in seconds. Choose packaged fruits that do not have added sugars.

For the best nutritional value:

  • Make most of your choices whole or cut-up fruit rather than juice, for the benefits dietary fiber provides.
  • Select fruits with more potassium often, such as bananas, prunes and prune juice, dried peaches and apricots, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and orange juice.
  • When choosing canned fruits, select fruit canned in 100% fruit juice or water rather than syrup.
  • Vary your fruit choices. Fruits differ in nutrient content.

At meals:

  • At breakfast, top your cereal with bananas or peaches; add blueberries to pancakes; drink 100% orange or grapefruit juice. Or, try a fruit mixed with low-fat or fat-free yogurt.
  • At lunch, pack a tangerine, banana, or grapes to eat, or choose fruits from a salad bar. Individual containers of fruits like peaches or applesauce are easy and convenient.
  • At dinner, add crushed pineapple to coleslaw, or include mandarin oranges or grapes in a tossed salad.
  • Make a Waldorf salad, with apples, celery, walnuts, and dressing.
  • Try meat dishes that incorporate fruit, such as chicken with apricots or mango chutney.
  • Add fruit like pineapple or peaches to kabobs as part of a barbecue meal.
  • For dessert, have baked apples, pears, or a fruit salad.

As snacks:

  • Cut-up fruit makes a great snack. Either cut them yourself, or buy pre-cut packages of fruit pieces like pineapples or melons. Or, try whole fresh berries or grapes.
  • Dried fruits also make a great snack. They are easy to carry and store well. Because they are dried, ¼ cup is equivalent to ½ cup of other fruits.
  • Keep a package of dried fruit in your desk or bag. Some fruits that are available dried include apricots, apples, pineapple, bananas, cherries, figs, dates, cranberries, blueberries, prunes (dried plums), and raisins (dried grapes).
  • As a snack, spread peanut butter on apple slices or top frozen yogurt with berries or slices of kiwi fruit.
  • Frozen juice bars (100% juice) make healthy alternatives to high-fat snacks.

Make fruit more appealing:

  • Many fruits taste great with a dip or dressing. Try low-fat yogurt or pudding as a dip for fruits like strawberries or melons.
  • Make a fruit smoothie by blending fat-free or low-fat milk or yogurt with fresh or frozen fruit. Try bananas, peaches, strawberries, or other berries.
  • Try applesauce as a fat-free substitute for some of the oil when baking cakes.
  • Try different textures of fruits. For example, apples are crunchy, bananas are smooth and creamy, and oranges are juicy.
  • For fresh fruit salads, mix apples, bananas, or pears with acidic fruits like oranges, pineapple, or lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.

Fruit tips for children:

  • Set a good example for children by eating fruit everyday with meals or as snacks.
  • Offer children a choice of fruits for lunch.
  • Depending on their age, children can help shop for, clean, peel, or cut up fruits.
  • While shopping, allow children to pick out a new fruit to try later at home.
  • Decorate plates or serving dishes with fruit slices.
  • Top off a bowl of cereal with some berries. Or, make a smiley face with sliced bananas for eyes, raisins for a nose, and an orange slice for a mouth.
  • Offer raisins or other dried fruits instead of candy.
  • Make fruit kabobs using pineapple chunks, bananas, grapes, and berries.
  • Pack a juice box (100% juice) in children’s lunches versus soda or other sugar-sweetened beverages.
  • Choose fruit options, such as sliced apples, mixed fruit cup, or 100% fruit juice that are available in some fast food restaurants.
  • Offer fruit pieces and 100% fruit juice to children. There is often little fruit in “fruit-flavored” beverages or chewy fruit snacks.

Keep it safe:

  • Wash fruits before preparing or eating them. Under clean, running water, rub fruits briskly with your hands to remove dirt and surface microorganisms. Dry after washing.
  • Keep fruits separate from raw meat, poultry and seafood while shopping, preparing, or storing.

 

* information supplied by U. S. Department of Agriculture

 

Milk & Dairy

All fluid milk products and many foods made from milk are considered part of this food group. Foods made from milk that retain their calcium content are part of the group, while foods made from milk that have little to no calcium, such as cream cheese, cream, and butter, are not. Most milk group choices should be fat-free or low-fat.

Some commonly eaten choices in the milk, yogurt, and cheese group are:

Milk

Cheese

Milk*
All fluid milk:

fat-free (skim)
low fat (1%)
reduced fat (2%)
whole milkflavored milks:

chocolate
strawberry

lactose reduced milks
lactose free milks

Milk-based desserts*
Puddings made with milk
ice milk
frozen yogurt
ice cream

Hard natural cheeses:

cheddar
mozzarella
Swiss
parmesan

soft cheeses

ricotta
cottage cheese

processed cheeses

American

Milk-Based Desserts*

Yogurt*

Puddings made with milk
ice milk
frozen yogurt
ice cream
All yogurt

Fat-free
low fat
reduced fat
whole milk yogurt

Selection Tips

Choose fat-free or low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese. If you choose milk or yogurt that is not fat-free, or cheese that is not low-fat, the fat in the product counts as part of the discretionary calorie allowance.


If sweetened milk products are chosen (flavored milk, yogurt, drinkable yogurt, desserts), the added sugars also count as part of the discretionary calorie allowance.


For those who are lactose intolerant, lactose-free and lower-lactose products are available. These include hard cheeses and yogurt. Also, enzyme preparations can be added to milk to lower the lactose content. Calcium-fortified foods and beverages such as soy beverages or orange juice may provide calcium, but may not provide the other nutrients found in milk and milk products.

 

Meat, Beans & Proteins

All foods made from meat, poultry, fish, dry beans or peas, eggs, nuts, and seeds are considered part of this group. Dry beans and peas are part of this group as well as the vegetable group. For more information on dry beans and peas click here.

Most meat and poultry choices should be lean or low-fat. Fish, nuts, and seeds contain healthy oils, so choose these foods frequently instead of meat or poultry.

Some commonly eaten choices in the Meat and Beans group, with selection tips, are:

Meats

Dry Beans and Peas

Lean cuts of:

beef
ham
lamb
pork
veal

Game meats:

bison
rabbit
venison

Lean ground meats:

beef
pork
lamb

Lean luncheon meats
Organ meats:

liver
giblets
black beans
black-eyed peas
chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
falafel
kidney beans
lentils
lima beans (mature)
navy beans
pinto beans
soy beans
split peas
tofu (bean curd made from soy beans)
white beansbean burgers:

garden burgers
veggie burgers

tempeh
texturized vegetable protein (TVP)

Poultry

Eggs

chicken
duck
goose
turkey
ground chicken and turkey
chicken eggs
duck eggs

Fish

Nuts and Seeds

Finfish such as:

catfish
cod
flounder
haddock
halibut
herring
mackerel
pollock
porgy
salmon
sea bass
snapper
swordfish
trout
tuna

Shellfish such as:

clams
crab
crayfish
lobster
mussels
octopus
oysters
scallops
squid (calamari)
shrimp

Canned fish such as:

anchovies
clams
tuna
sardines
almonds
cashews
hazelnuts (filberts)
mixed nuts
peanuts
peanut butter
pecans
pistachios
pumpkin seeds
sesame seeds
sunflower seeds
walnuts

Selection Tips

Choose lean or low-fat meat and poultry. If higher fat choices are made, such as regular ground beef (75 to 80% lean) or chicken with skin, the fat in the product counts as part of the discretionary calorie allowance.


If solid fat is added in cooking, such as frying chicken in shortening or frying eggs in butter or stick margarine, this also counts as part of the discretionary calorie allowance.


Select fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, trout, and herring, more often.


Liver and other organ meats are high in cholesterol. Egg yolks are also high in cholesterol, but egg whites are cholesterol-free.


Processed meats such as ham, sausage, frankfurters, and luncheon or deli meats have added sodium. Check the ingredient and Nutrition Facts label to help limit sodium intake. Fresh chicken, turkey, and pork that have been enhanced with a salt-containing solution also have added sodium. Check the product label for statements such as “self-basting” or “contains up to __% of __”, which mean that a sodium-containing solution has been added to the product.


Sunflower seeds, almonds, and hazelnuts (filberts) are the richest sources of vitamin E in this food group. To help meet vitamin E recommendations, make these your nut and seed choices more often.

* information supplied by U. S. Department of Agriculture

 

Oils

Oils are fats that are liquid at room temperature, like the vegetable oils used in cooking. Oils come from many different plants and from fish. Some common oils are:

  • canola oil
  • corn oil
  • cottonseed oil
  • olive oil
  • safflower oil
  • soybean oil
  • sunflower oil

Some oils are used mainly as flavorings, such as walnut oil and sesame oil. A number of foods are naturally high in oils, like:

  • nuts
  • olives
  • some fish
  • avocados

Foods that are mainly oil include mayonnaise, certain salad dressings, and soft (tub or squeeze) margarine with no trans fats. Check the Nutrition Facts label to find margarines with 0 grams of trans fat. Amounts of trans fat will be required on labels as of 2006. Many products already provide this information.

Most oils are high in monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats, and low in saturated fats. Oils from plant sources (vegetable and nut oils) do not contain any cholesterol. In fact, no foods from plants sources contain cholesterol.

A few plant oils, however, including coconut oil and palm kernel oil, are high in saturated fats and for nutritional purposes should be considered to be solid fats.

Solid fats are fats that are solid at room temperature, like butter and shortening. Solid fats come from many animal foods and can be made from vegetable oils through a process called hydrogenation. Some common solid fats are:

  • butter
  • beef fat (tallow, suet)
  • chicken fat
  • pork fat (lard)
  • stick margarine
  • shortening

 

* information supplied by U. S. Department of Agriculture

 

Solid Fats

Solid fats are fats that are solid at room temperature, like butter and shortening. Solid fats come from many animal foods and can be made from vegetable oils through a process called hydrogenation. Some common solid fats are:

  • butter
  • beef fat (tallow, suet)
  • chicken fat
  • pork fat (lard)
  • stick margarine
  • shortening

Foods high in solid fats include:

  • many cheeses
  • creams
  • ice creams
  • well-marbled cuts of meats
  • regular ground beef
  • bacon
  • sausages
  • poultry skin
  • many baked goods (such as cookies, crackers, donuts, pastries, and croissants)

In some cases, the fat in these foods is invisible. Regular cheese and whole milk are high in solid fat, even though it is not visible.

Most solid fats are high in saturated fats and/or trans fats and have less monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats. Animal products containing solid fats also contain cholesterol.

In contrast to solid fats, oils are fats that are liquid at room temperature, like the vegetable oils used in cooking. Oils come from many different plants and from fish. Some common oils:

  • canola oil
  • corn oil
  • olive oil
  • peanut oil
  • safflower oil
  • soybean oil
  • sunflower oil

Some oils are used mainly as flavorings, such as walnut oil and sesame oil. A number of foods are naturally high in oils, such as:

  • nuts
  • olives
  • some fish
  • avocados

A few plant oils, including coconut oil and palm kernel oil, are high in saturated fats and for nutritional purposes should be considered solid fats.

 

* information supplied by U. S. Department of Agriculture

 

Why Lean & Low Fat?

Foods in the meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, and seed group provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. However, choosing foods from this group that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol may have health implications.

Nutrients

Food sources of the nutrients in bold can be found in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans . Click on the nutrient name to link to the food sources table.

 

  • Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans and peas, eggs, nuts, and seeds supply many nutrients. These include protein, B vitamins (niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, and B6), vitamin E, iron, zinc, and magnesium.
  • Proteins function as building blocks for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood. They are also building blocks for enzymes, hormones, and vitamins. Proteins are one of three nutrients that provide calories (the others are fat and carbohydrates).
  • B vitamins found in this food group serve a variety of functions in the body. They help the body release energy, play a vital role in the function of the nervous system, aid in the formation of red blood cells, and help build tissues.
  • Vitamin E is an anti-oxidant that helps protect vitamin A and essential fatty acids from cell oxidation.
  • Iron is used to carry oxygen in the blood. Many teenage girls and women in their child-bearing years have iron-deficiency anemia. They should eat foods high in heme-iron (meats) or eat other non-heme iron containing foods along with a food rich in vitamin C, which can improve absorption of non-heme iron.
  • Magnesium is used in building bones and in releasing energy from muscles.
  • Zinc is necessary for biochemical reactions and helps the immune system function properly.

Health implications

  • Diets that are high in saturated fats raise “bad” cholesterol levels in the blood. The “bad” cholesterol is called LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. High LDL cholesterol, in turn, increases the risk for coronary heart disease. Some food choices in this group are high in saturated fat. These include fatty cuts of beef, pork, and lamb; regular (75% to 85% lean) ground beef; regular sausages, hot dogs, and bacon; some luncheon meats such as regular bologna and salami; and some poultry such as duck. To help keep blood cholesterol levels healthy, limit the amount of these foods you eat.
  • Diets that are high in cholesterol can raise LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. Cholesterol is only found in foods from animal sources. Some foods from this group are high in cholesterol. These include egg yolks (egg whites are cholesterol-free) and organ meats such as liver and giblets. To help keep blood cholesterol levels healthy, limit the amount of these foods you eat.
  • A high intake of fats makes it difficult to avoid consuming more calories than are needed.

Why is it important to include fish, nuts, and seeds?

  • Many people do not make varied choices from this food group, selecting meat or poultry everyday as their main dishes. Varying choices and including fish, nuts, and seeds in meals can boost intake of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Most fat in the diet should come from MUFAs and PUFAs. Some of the PUFAs are essential for health—the body cannot create them from other fats.
  • Some fish (such as salmon, trout, and herring) are high in a type of PUFA called “omega-3 fatty acids.” The omega-3 fatty acids in fish are commonly called “EPA” and “DHA.” There is some limited evidence that suggests eating fish rich in EPA and DHA may reduce the risk for mortality from cardiovascular disease. (EPA is eicosapentaenoic acid and DHA is docosahexaeonoic acid.)
  • Some nuts and seeds (flax, walnuts) are excellent sources of essential fatty acids, and some (sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts) are good sources of vitamin E.

 

* information supplied by U. S. Department of Agriculture

 

Coconut Milk Tonic

The Players
1 can whole coconut milk
2 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons maple syrup (or a pinch of stevia)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon dolomite powder (for calcium)

The How-To
Mix all ingredients together in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat and heat until warm and dolomite is dissolved. Cool before serving.

Homemade Raw Almond Milk

The Players
1 1/2 cups of raw almonds, soaked in water overnight
4 cups of filtered or spring water
3-5 dates (optional)

The How-To
Blend the raw almonds that have been soaked overnight in 4 cups of water. Blend with dates if you like your milk with a hint of sweetness. Strain once to remove almond granules. These can be dried and ground further to create your own almond flour. YUM.

My friend at Yummy Dirt blog has some great recipes, she is a fun young yogi and she loves vegan food. She made the best vegan cheese dip I have ever had!

Raw Cashew Nacho Cheese Sauce 

  • 2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 1-2 hours, drained
  • juice from 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast (not necessary, but adds the cheesy color)
  • A few grinds of fresh Himalayan salt (or whatever salt you choose, if you don’t care about it being authentically raw)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1 clove fresh garlic
  • purified water

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor (or blender if you don’t have one) until smooth and creamy, adding water as needed to get the desired texture. Also add salt as needed.

For taco assembly:

  • fresh pico de gallo
  • fresh chopped avocado
  • fresh, washed butter lettuce or your favorite lettuce fresh off the head – don’t chop, keep the leaves whole. This is the tortilla!

To assemble the tacos:

  • Take a piece of lettuce, layer on the “meat,” pico de gallo and avocado, and top with the nacho cheese sauce. Make as many as you want – the meat will keep for up to a week in the fridge, the cheese will keep for at least a week.
  • That’s it – so simple and definitely a pleaser for your little taste buds. Raw foodies and your meat-eating friends alike will appreciate the fresh, flavorful meal.

YUMMY DIRT

BREAKFAST DRINK        ON the Go!

created by The Fitness Fairy :)

Coconut Milk and Fresh OJ makes a tasty and healthy super quick morning drink

- Pour coconut milk in a glass and top it off with OJ.... simple enough right!!!

It tastes just like a orange  cream    sickle

if there is left over......

Orange Cream Sickle POPS

Getting ready for some hot days????

Freeze coconut milk and O.J. concoction in an ice tray and put plastic wrap on top and secure. Poke a small hole put a tooth pick in and freeze......... YUM!!

Wont that be a nice treat when you come home? :)

 

Here is another link that has some healthy recipes..

http://www.healthaliciousness.com/recipes/

 

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