April is Physical Wellness Month. Physical wellness includes both physical fitness as well as nutrition. According to Dietary Guidelines for Americans, available at the U.S. GPO Bookstore, even though infections disease rates have dropped, the rates of chronic diet-related diseases have risen in part to changes in lifestyle behaviors. Also according to the publication, more than two-thirds of adults and nearly one-third of children and youth in America are overweight or obese.
Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourage Americans to:
- Follow a healthy eating pattern across the lifespan
- Focus on variety, nutrient density, and amount
- Limit calories from added sugars and saturated fasts and reduce sodium intake
- Shift to healthier food and beverage choices
- Support healthy eating patterns for all
The guidelines explain that Americans should eat vegetables from all subgroups—dark green, red and orange, legumes, starchy, and other. A healthy eating pattern also includes fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy, and a variety of protein foods, including seafood, lean meats and poultry, eggs, legumes, and nuts.
Healthy eating patterns limit saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium. Check out the publication to learn what percent of your calories each day can be from added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium.
Also helpful are the guideline’s suggestions for shifting current eating patterns to healthier patterns. For example, choose plain popcorn instead of buttered, whole grain bread instead of croissants, and fruit rather than cake or cookies for dessert.
Coming very soon to the GPO Bookstore is the newest version of this publication, Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020–2025, from the United States Department of Agriculture and the Department of Health and Human Services. Check our online bookstore periodically for the latest version and get on track for Physical Wellness Month!
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About the author: Blogger contributor Cat Goergen is the P.R. Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations office.