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How Do New Food Guidelines Work?

How Do New Food Guidelines Work?

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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Dr. Kim Mulvihill ReportingThe nation's expanding waistline is the target of some new food guidelines. So, do they work?

When it comes to food, we have lots of choices. The question is, can we make the right ones? History shows us we don't. To turn that around, the US government issued new dietary guidelines.

Our assignment: put the plan to the test. Here are the basics:
each day on a 2,000 calorie diet you’re supposed to have
3 cups of dairy
2 cups of fruit
2 and a half cups of veggies
5 and a half ounces of protein
6 ounces of grains
and 290 freebies -- calories you get to use however you see fit.
And oh yeah, there's that hour of exercise.

The plan emphasizes fresh food and whole grains

Day one -- cereal and fruit for breakfast, then up the hill for a hike.
At lunch -- an apple, tomatoes and yogurt.
Dinner is salmon, wild rice, brocolli and salad.

Day two it's raining so I catch up on my soap.
More fruit, more yogurt, a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter.
At night barbecued chicken and lots of green veggies.

Day three it's still raining. On the menu more bagel, more fruit, and yes, more yogurt.
As for dinner, short ribs, mashed potatoes, the wine, the cake - let's just say I overspent the freebies.

On the whole, eating more fruits and veggies was easy. The hard part? Eating fewer bad things. And to get whole grains, read those labels -- enriched flour or fiber won't do. Eating whole wheat, oatmeal, barley, even popcorn, is how you get the most benefit.

So how can you make this plan work for you? Don't do it all at once like I did. Just go slow and take it one step at a time. Ultimately, it comes down to simple calories in and calories out.

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