The Mediterranean Diet
"It's generally accepted that the folks in countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea live longer and suffer less than most Americans from cancer and cardiovascular ailments. The not-so-surprising secret is an active lifestyle, weight control, and a diet low in red meat, sugar and saturated fat and high in produce, nuts and other healthful foods.
The Mediterranean Diet may offer a host of health benefits, including weight loss, heart and brain health, cancer prevention, and diabetes prevention and control. By following the Mediterranean Diet, you could also keep that weight off while avoiding chronic disease." -U.S. News & World Report
"The benefits of healthy eating add up over time, bite by bite. Small changes matter. Start Simple with MyPlate.
A healthy eating routine is important at every stage of life and can have positive effects that add up over time. It’s important to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein foods, and dairy and fortified soy alternatives. When deciding what to eat or drink, choose options that are full of nutrients. Make every bite count." -MyPlate, U.S. Department of Agriculture
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Sodium in Your Diet
"You’ve probably heard that most Americans eat too much sodium. Your body needs a small amount of sodium to work properly, but too much sodium can be bad for your health. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, diets higher in sodium are associated with an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, which is a major cause of stroke and heart disease.
Despite what many people think, most dietary sodium (over 70%) comes from eating packaged and prepared foods—not from salt added to food when cooking or eating. The food supply contains too much sodium and Americans who want to consume less sodium can have a difficult time doing so.
That is why the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is working with the food industry to make reasonable reductions in sodium across a wide variety of foods. Even though sodium may already be in many packaged foods when you purchase them, you can lower your daily sodium intake by using the Nutrition Facts label." -U.S. Food & Drug
Sugar in Your Diet
"Your body doesn’t need to get any carbohydrate from added sugar. That’s why the Healthy Eating Pyramid says sugary drinks and sweets should be used sparingly, if at all, and the Healthy Eating Plate does not include foods with added sugars.
The average American consumes 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day, which amounts to an extra 350 calories. (27) While we sometimes add sugar to food ourselves, most added sugar comes from processed and prepared foods. Sugar-sweetened beverages and breakfast cereals are two of the most serious offenders." - Harvard School of Public Health