Focus on wellness: March is National Nutrition Month

A healthy diet is all about balance and moderation. Make sure to eat a wide range of foods, and only rarely eat foods that are high in fat or sugar. An easy guide to a balanced meal is the Department of Agriculture's MyPlate graphic, which shows the five building blocks of healthy eating.

To get the right balance in your diet:

  • Eat a rainbow of vegetables to provide many vitamins and minerals. Starchy vegetables such as potatoes, peas, and corn are high in calories, so eat them less often.

  • Choose whole fruit instead of juice for more fiber. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.

  • Choose whole grains when you can. Whole grain breads and pastas provide more fiber, which will help with digestion and with keeping you full. A quarter of your plate should be whole grains.

  • For a heart-healthy diet, use fats that are liquid at room temperature rather than solid. Reduce total and saturated fats.

  • Eat lean protein such as seafood, eggs, poultry, beans, and nuts more often than beef and pork. Eat three to four ounces of protein per meal—for meat, that's a portion about the size of a deck of cards.

  • Switch to low- or nonfat options for dairy products such as milk or yogurt. Aim for two to three cups daily.

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