Nutrition: Part Two

21 Feb

#2 Hitting All the Food Groups and Nutrients

This is something that we all learn in school and all we really remember is the colorful pyramid. It tells us that we need however many servings of each food group each day, but it seems like most people don’t pay attention to that or don’t do it properly. What is a serving of grains or protein really? I learned a bit about this in the nutrition course that I am taking I am implementing it into my daily routine. The USDA’s website has some really helpful resources on this topic. The USDA’s ‘Super Tracker’ page is a great resource to get an idea of the amount of different food groups and nutrients you need each day.

My Plan - Windows Internet Explorer_2013-02-20_15-12-41

The “General Plan” page with tons of helpful information on what a serving really is, what foods fit in each category and how many servings you should be having. If you make a free account with Supertracker you an get a customized plan for your individual needs as well as sample meal plans to help get all the servings you need. Which is how I have been planning my meals, which I touched on a few days ago.

My Plan - Windows Internet Explorer_2013-02-20_15-12-41

The site also has an option to track the food you eat. It’s like a lot if other calorie counting websites but it’s different because it gives a much more in depth look at all the nutrients in the food you are eating. In particular, the average calorie counting website will tell you how many calories you need to eat to lose or maintain your weight, but the ‘Food Tracker’ also tells you how many grams of carbs, protein, fat and more. And it tracks if you are hitting your recommendations for food group requirements. If you are more concerned about strict calorie counting, this isn’t the best resource because the database it pretty limited compared to sites like Lose It and My Fitness Pal, but it is great in combination with those sites.

From my experience, it seems that when we cut, cut, cut and focus all our attention on counting calories, we neglect the other nutrients that are very important for our health which may, in the long run, sabotage our efforts to lose weight and be healthy.

Bottom line, my first priority is making sure I meet the daily requirements for each food group and nutrient, above meeting a strict calorie requirement.

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