The second guideline is to customize and enjoy nutrient-dense food and beverage choices to reflect personal preferences, cultural traditions, and budgetary considerations. That is a fancy way of saying choose foods that provide your body with nutrition that include foods that you like to eat, foods that you customarily eat as part of your culture and that fit into your budget.
When we choose foods we like, we tend to eat them more. Makes sense, right? But we want to make sure we are focusing on foods we like that actually provide a little more bang for our buck on the nutrition front.
We also do not want to ignore our culture (anybody just eat black-eyed peas and greens for New Years?) – whether it is a culture within this great country or a culture brought over by our relatives, we should honor that as well.
Finally, it should go without saying that we all have a budget that we need to stick with, and our food choices generally reflect that as well.
The third guideline is to focus on meeting food group needs with nutrient-dense foods and beverages and stay within calorie limits. There is the bubble buster. Portion control still matters. Not overeating is still important. When you provide your body with all of the nutrients it needs, there really is not a lot of wiggle room for extra sweets and fats.
The fourth guideline is to limit foods and beverages higher in added sugars, saturated fat and sodium and to limit alcoholic beverages. The evidence shows clearly that excess fat sugar, and sodium contribute to health issues. In our fast-food, convenience-is-king society, they are stars of the show. Limiting these is important to our overall health and should be something we pay attention to.