Guidelines for Healthy Meal Planning
By following the government’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans, you can promote your health and reduce your risk for chronic diseases such as heart disease, certain types of cancer, diabetes, stroke and osteoporosis. These diseases are leading causes of death and disability among Americans. Good diets can also reduce major risk factors for chronic disease – such as obesity, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol. Your food choices, lifestyle, environment, and family history all affect your well-being. It’s important for everyone to follow the 10 Dietary Guidelines listed below. If you’re at higher risk of having a chronic disease, it’s especially important.
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans include the following:
Aim for fitness …
• Aim for a healthy weight.
• Be physically active each day.
Build a healthy base …
• Let the Pyramid guide your food choices.
• Choose a variety of grains daily, especially whole grains.
• Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables daily.
• Keep food safe to eat.
Choose Sensibly …
• Choose a diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol and moderate in total fat.
• Choose beverages and foods to moderate your intake of sugars.
• Choose and prepare foods with less salt.
• If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation.
Low Sugar Raspberry Thumbprints
(makes 16 cookies)
- 1/4 C. margarine, softened
- 3 T. sugar
- 1 lg. egg white
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 C. sifted cake flour
- Refrigerated butter-flavored cooking spray
- 3 T. no sugar added raspberry fruit spread
In a large bowl, cream margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg white and vanilla. Beat well. Stir in flour. Using your hands, form dough into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350°. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Place 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet that has been lightly coated with cooking spray. Using your thumb, press a hole in the center of each cookie. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden. Cool completely on wire racks. Spoon 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) of the raspberry fruit spread into center of each cookie. If desired, make a thin icing out of confectioner’s sugar and milk and drizzle on top.
Per 1-cookie serving (without icing): 85 calories (31% calories from fat), 1 g protein, 3 g fat, trace dietary fiber, 0 cholesterol, 43 mg sodium
Apple and Thyme Chicken
- 2 whole boneless and skinless chicken breasts, about 1/2 pound each, halved and all traces of fat removed
- Butter-flavored cooking spray
- Salt (opt.), to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 med. Granny Smith or other tart green apple, cored and thinly sliced
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 T. fresh thyme leaves or
- 1 teaspoon crushed dried thyme
- 1/4 C. balsamic vinegar
- Fresh thyme sprigs for garnish
Preheat oven to 375°. Rinse chicken breasts and pat dry with paper towels. Lightly spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Place in a single layer in the prepared baking dish. Arrange apple slices over and around chicken breasts. Sprinkle with shallot and thyme leaves; pour on the balsamic vinegar. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until chicken is opaque throughout (cut to test). Arrange cooked breasts on a platter and spoon apples and cooking juices on top. Garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired. Serve at once.
Per Serving: 163 calories (9% calories from fat), 27 g protein, 2 g total fat (0.4 g saturated fat),
9 g carbohydrate, 1 g dietary fiber, 66 mg cholesterol, 78 mg sodium
Exchanges: 3 very lean meat, 1 carbohydrate (1 fruit)