Dietary guidelines urge healthy eating | News

Will Kreznick

I thought I’d share new nutrition information provided by Health and Human Services, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Food science specialists at Oklahoma State University have recently provided training for Extension educators on changes that have been released in the ninth edition of the Dietary Guidelines 2020-2025. This […]

I thought I’d share new nutrition information provided by Health and Human Services, along with the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Food science specialists at Oklahoma State University have recently provided training for Extension educators on changes that have been released in the ninth edition of the Dietary Guidelines 2020-2025.

This edition marks the first time the guidelines provide recommendations by life stage, from birth through older adulthood.

One of the goals of the Dietary Guidelines is to promote health and disease prevention. So, it is very important to make every bite count.

Using the new edition of the Dietary Guidelines, I hope Oklahomans can find ways to “Start Simple” and incorporate modest changes each day that push our families closer to meeting the recommendations.

It’s more important than ever to make healthy eating a priority.

Each stage of life is distinct and has unique needs that affect health and disease risk. Early food preferences influence food and beverage choices later. The science behind the recommendations has evolved to focus on the importance of a healthy dietary pattern over time.

A goal for myself in teaching nutrition is to start with young people so that they can begin early and carry the healthier choices throughout their lifetime.

But, it’s never too late to start making healthier choices no matter what age we are.

This new edition of the Dietary Guidelines includes specific recommendations for all life stages, now including infants and toddlers, and pregnant and lactating women.

The four main guidelines provided include following a healthy dietary pattern at all stages in life, and customize and enjoy nutrient-dense food and beverage choices to reflect personal preferences, cultural traditions, and budgetary considerations.

Focus on meeting food group needs with nutrient-dense foods and that beverages stay within calorie limits and, finally, limit foods and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fat, sodium and limit alcoholic beverages.

Check out MyPlate.gov to become more informed about the choices you make for yourself and your family. Nutrient-dense choices can become a healthy routine over time; choices that you can enjoy that will provide better health for many years to come.

For more information about financial management, health and wellness, parenting or to schedule a program in the family and consumer sciences area, contact the OSU Cooperative Extension Service in Cherokee County by phone at 918-456-6163.

Heather Winn is a family and consumer sciences educator for the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service in Cherokee County.

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