Do You Need A Vitamin/Mineral Tablet?

Although most nutrients can be obtained in adequate amounts naturally through food, the Dietary Guidelines suggest that fortified foods or supplements may be recommended in some instances:

Persons 9 years and above – The MyPlate food group guidelines are designed to meet the nutritional needs for this age group in 1600 calories or over. Persons who consume less than 1600 calories (such as those on weight loss diets) may need to take a vitamin/mineral supplement in order to meet their nutritional needs.

Women – It is recommended that women who may become pregnant take 400 mcg of folic acid every day from fortified foods or a supplement in addition to the amount of folate found in a healthful diet. Breakfast cereals and breads are commonly fortified with folic acid.

Pregnant and lactating women – A pre-natal vitamin/mineral tablet that includes iron is often advised for pregnant and lactating women, as recommended by a health care provider.

Those over 50 years – It is advised that those over 50 years meet their vitamin B-12 requirement mainly through fortified foods or a supplement. Breakfast cereals are commonly fortified with vitamin B-12.

Vegans – Vegan diets should include foods that are fortified with vitamin B-12, vitamin D, calcium, and possibly iron. Other nutrients that could be lower in the diet include choline and omega 3 fatty acids. Look for breakfast cereals, breads, soy products and soy milk fortified with these nutrients.

MyDietSteps will calculate an optimal calorie level for you and show you how to meet your nutrient needs.

No Meat

How can I follow the MyPlate food groups when I don’t eat meat?

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest that you can get the nutrients you need to maintain health and prevent disease by eating specific amounts from these MyPlate food groups:

  • Grains Group
  • Vegetable Group
  • Fruit Group
  • Dairy Group
  • Protein Foods Group
  • Oils and Empty Calories Group

Each food group provides a certain set of nutrients, so foods within the groups can be substituted for each other.

Meat is found in the Protein Foods Group. Nutrients provided by this group include: protein; vitamins such as niacin, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6 and vitamin E; and minerals such as iron, zinc, and magnesium . These nutrients are found naturally in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, soy products, dry beans and peas, and nuts and seeds. Fish, nuts and seeds are also good sources of polyunsaturated fats. Dry beans and peas are also good sources of dietary fiber, potassium and folate.

The Protein Foods Group is subdivided into seven subgroups, beans and peas, soy, nuts and seeds, eggs, fish, poultry, and meat. If you don’t eat meat, you can meet your nutrient needs from this group by eating more from the other Protein Foods subgroups. The food patterns that I described in my October 2011 blog post, “MyPlate and You”, show how nutrient needs can be met for ovo-lacto vegetarian and vegan meatless diets.

Let MyDietSteps find the right food pattern for you and show you how many servings from the Protein Foods Group YOU should eat!

 

Eat to Prevent Heart Disease

Reduce your risk of heart disease by following the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans!

According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee report, the number of American deaths related to poor diet  and lack of exercise is increasing. The Dietary Guidelines recommendations are specifically designed to promote health and reduce the risk of major chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes.

The American Heart Association web site advises dietary steps for fighting heart disease that compliment the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Both groups suggest:

Balance calorie intake and exercise to help attain and maintain optimal weight.    

Eat a variety of nutritious foods from all the food groups. 

  • Include a variety of vegetables and fruit.
  • Include whole grain foods.
  • Include fat free or low fat milk products.
  • Include lean meats and poultry prepared without added solid and trans fats.
  • Eat fish at least twice a week.

Eat less of some foods and food components. 

  • Cut back on foods containing trans fat .
  • Cut back on foods high in dietary cholesterol.
  • Cut back on beverages and foods with added solid fats and sugars.
  • Cut back on sodium intake. The Dietary Guidelines recommend reducing sodium intake to 2300 mg per day, and further reducing to 1500 mg per day for persons with hypertension. The American Heat Association recommends 1500 mg per day as part of a diet to fight heart disease.
  • If you drink alcohol, do so in moderation.

Follow a healthy eating pattern that meets nutrient needs at an appropriate calorie level.

Enter your personal information into MyDietSteps to find a diet pattern that will meet YOUR nutritional needs, and reduce your risk of heart disease!

No Wheat

Can I follow the MyPlate food groups if I don’t eat wheat?

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest that you can get the nutrients you need to maintain health and prevent disease by eating specific amounts from these MyPlate food groups:

  • Grains Group
  • Vegetable Group
  • Fruit Group
  • Dairy Group
  • Protein Foods Group
  • Oils and Empty Calories Group

Each food group provides a certain set of nutrients, so foods within the groups can be substituted for each other.

Foods made from wheat are found in the Grains Group. The group also includes foods made from other grains such as rice, oats, cornmeal, barley, amaranth, millet, quinoa, sorghum, and triticale. Nutrients provided by the Grains Group include: fiber; vitamins such as thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and folate; and minerals such as iron, magnesium, and selenium. Grains are used to make a variety of foods such as bread, bagels, ready to eat cereal, hot cereal, pancakes, noodles, and tortillas. If you cannot eat wheat, choose products made from other grains to get the nutrients that you need from the Grains Group.

Let MyDietSteps find the right food pattern for you and show you how many servings from the Grains Group YOU should eat!

 

No Dairy

How can I follow the MyPlate food groups when I can’t eat dairy products?

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest that you can get the nutrients you need to maintain health and prevent disease by eating specific amounts from these MyPlate food groups:

  • Grains Group
  • Vegetable Group
  • Fruit Group
  • Dairy Group
  • Protein Foods Group
  • Oils and Empty Calories Group

Each food group provides a certain set of nutrients, so foods within the groups can be substituted for each other.

Nutrients provided by the Dairy Group include: protein, vitamin D, calcium and potassium. These nutrients are found naturally in dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt and pudding. They are also found in milk alternatives such as fortified soy milk, rice milk, almond milk, and products made from these such as yogurt and pudding. It is important to choose the fortified varieties of milk alternatives because these products are not naturally high in the Dairy Group nutrients.

Let MyDietSteps find the right food pattern for you and show you how many servings from the Dairy Group YOU should eat!