Friday, March 28, 2008


Key Recommendations for the General Population


*Consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods and beverages within and among the basic food groups while choosing foods that limit the intake of saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, salt, and alcohol.

*Meet recommended intakes within energy needs by adopting a balanced eating pattern, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Guide or the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Eating Plan.


*To maintain body weight in a healthy range, balance calories from foods and beverages with calories expended.

*To prevent gradual weight gain over time, make small decreases in food and beverage calories and increase physical activity.


*Engage in regular physical activity and reduce sedentary activities to promote health, psychological well-being, and a healthy body weight.

*To reduce the risk of chronic disease in adulthood: Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, above usual activity, at work or home on most days of the week.

*For most people, greater health benefits can be obtained by engaging in physical activity of more vigorous intensity or longer duration.

*To help manage body weight and prevent gradual, unhealthy body weight gain in adulthood: Engage in approximately 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity on most days of the week while not exceeding caloric intake requirements.

*To sustain weight loss in adulthood: Participate in at least 60 to 90 minutes of daily moderate-intensity physical activity while not exceeding caloric intake requirements. Some people may need to consult with a healthcare provider before participating in this level of activity.

*Achieve physical fitness by including cardiovascular conditioning, stretching exercises for flexibility, and resistance exercises or calisthenics for muscle strength and endurance.


*Consume a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables while staying within energy needs. Two cups of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables per day are recommended for a reference 2,000-calorie intake, with higher or lower amounts depending on the calorie level.

*Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables each day. In particular, select from all five vegetable subgroups (dark green, orange, legumes, starchy vegetables, and other vegetables) several times a week.

*Consume 3 or more ounce-equivalents of whole-grain products per day, with the rest of the recommended grains coming from enriched or whole-grain products. In general, at least half the grains should come from whole grains.

*Consume 3 cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent milk products.


*Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids and less than 300 mg/day of cholesterol, and keep trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible.

*Keep total fat intake between 20 to 35 percent of calories, with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.

*When selecting and preparing meat, poultry, dry beans, and milk or milk products, make choices that are lean, low-fat, or fat-free.

*Limit intake of fats and oils high in saturated and/or trans fatty acids, and choose products low in such fats and oils.


*Choose fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains often.

*Choose and prepare foods and beverages with little added sugars or caloric sweeteners, such as amounts suggested by the USDA Food Guide and the DASH Eating Plan.

*Reduce the incidence of dental caries by practicing good oral hygiene and consuming sugar- and starch-containing foods and beverages less frequently.


*Consume less than 2,300 mg (approximately 1 teaspoon of salt) of sodium per day.

*Choose and prepare foods with little salt. At the same time, consume potassium-rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables.


*Those who choose to drink alcoholic beverages should do so sensibly and in moderation—defined as the consumption of up to one drink per day for women and up to two drinks per day for men.

*Alcoholic beverages should not be consumed by some individuals, including those who cannot restrict their alcohol intake, women of childbearing age who may become pregnant, pregnant and lactating women, children and adolescents, individuals taking medications that can interact with alcohol, and those with specific medical conditions.

*Alcoholic beverages should be avoided by individuals engaging in activities that require attention, skill, or coordination, such as driving or operating machinery.


*To avoid microbial foodborne illness:

*Clean hands, food contact surfaces, and fruits and vegetables. Meat and poultry should not be washed or rinsed.

*Separate raw, cooked, and ready-to-eat foods while shopping, preparing, or storing foods.

*Cook foods to a safe temperature to kill microorganisms.

*Chill (refrigerate) perishable food promptly and defrost foods properly.

*Avoid raw (unpasteurized) milk or any products made from unpasteurized milk, raw or partially cooked eggs or foods containing raw eggs, raw or undercooked meat and poultry, unpasteurized juices, and raw sprouts.

Note: The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005 contains additional recommendations for specific populations. The full document is available at

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


We're told that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but what exactly are the health benefits of apples? Here are ten reasons to heed the advice of that old proverb.

Bone Protection

French researchers found that a flavanoid called phloridzin that is found only in apples may protect post-menopausal women from osteoporosis and may also increase bone density. Boron, another ingredient in apples, also strengthens bones.

Asthma Help

One recent study shows that children with asthma who drank apple juice on a daily basis suffered from less wheezing than children who drank apple juice only once per month. Another study showed that children born to women who eat a lot of apples during pregnancy have lower rates of asthma than children whose mothers ate few apples.

Alzheimer's Prevention

A study on mice at Cornell University found that the quercetin in apples may protect brain cells from the kind of free radical damage that may lead to Alzheimer's disease.

Lower Cholesterol

The pectin in apples lowers LDL ("bad") cholesterol. People who eat two apples per day may lower their cholesterol by as much as 16 percent.

Lung Cancer Prevention

According to a study of 10,000 people, those who ate the most apples had a 50 percent lower risk of developing lung cancer. Researchers believe this is due to the high levels of the flavonoids quercetin and naringin in apples.

Breast Cancer Prevention

A Cornell University study found that rats who ate one apple per day reduced their risk of breast cancer by 17 percent. Rats fed three apples per day reduced their risk by 39 percent and those fed six apples per day reduced their risk by 44 percent.

Colon Cancer Prevention

One study found that rats fed an extract from apple skins had a 43 percent lower risk of colon cancer. Other research shows that the pectin in apples reduces the risk of colon cancer and helps maintain a healthy digestive tract.

Liver Cancer Prevention

Research found that rats fed an extract from apple skins had a 57 percent lower risk of liver cancer.

Diabetes Management

The pectin in apples supplies galacturonic acid to the body which lowers the body's need for insulin and may help in the management of diabetes.

Weight Loss

A Brazilian study found that women who ate three apples or pears per day lost more weight while dieting than women who did not eat fruit while dieting.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Beans, Beans!

A new study suggests replacing 10% of your carbs for beans and other healthy fats like olive oil and avocado can be healthy:

Trading about 10 percent of carbohydrates in the diet for beans and healthful fats such as olive oil can help control high blood pressure and raise the level of "good cholesterol," according to a new study.

Experts said that the findings will help alter the standard dietary advice for people at high risk of heart disease. They also underscore the health benefits of popular foods including nuts, avocados and olive oil. (Washington Post)

My motto lately has been "an avocado a day keeps the doctor away" but maybe it should be "an avocado, some beans, and some nuts every day keeps the doctor away."

Colorectal Cancer SymptomSigns and symptoms of colorectal cancer. Find out if you're at risk!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Use our fun interactive tools to find out your ideal weight, how many calories you should eat, and much more.

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Nutrition Toolbox

Wondering how many calories that delicious fettucine alfredo dinner has? Curious if your favorite snack is could be ruining your efforts to lose weight? If you have questions about the nutritional values of different foods, this is the place to get answers -- our database has nearly 40,000 entries for foods, including many popular brand-name items you'll find at grocery stores and fast food restaurants.

When you see a little button next to a food, click on it to add that food to your list. The list is a little like an online shopping cart--we'll automatically total up the calories and key nutrients of your foods so you can see how healthy your meal is. You can also use this feature to plan menus if you're aiming for a certain amount of calories, fat, carbohydrate, or sodium in your diet.

Browse the whole list. Just click on any category below to see a full list of entries.


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Our multimedia animations explain the mysteries of the digestive system, fast food, and more! (Macromedia Flash player required.)

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Our printable health diaries help you keep track of your blood pressure, figure out your asthma triggers, and much more.

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Monday, March 3, 2008

Weight Management

Whole Grains Fight Belly Fat

Build the Best Salad Ever

Not Losing Weight, Losing Inches?

Today's Top Story: Why Won't This Weight Go Away?!If you're dieting and not seeing results, you could be making someunforced errors. Make sure you're not making these common dietmistakes. You deserve diet success!

Also See: Do Liquid Diets Work?.
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Learn Something New Today

Think you know a lot about health? Put yourself to the test. Yourhealth smarts could make you a winner. Donna B. from Grand Junction,Colo. was a recent winner. Are you next?

Whole Grains Fight Belly Fat

Are you looking to thin out your middle? Whole grains may get youthere. See how!
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What the Water You Drink Says About You

Need Another Reason to Lose Weight? Read on!

Build the Best Salad Ever

Just because it sounds healthy doesn't mean it is. Is your saladcrammed with more calories and fat than a double cheeseburger? Couldbe. Here's the inside scoop on building the best salad ever. Read onand eat right!Also See: 7 Foods That Keep You Young (and Fit!)

Got Food Questions? Answer Them Here!

Fat Attack! Avoid These Waist-Busting Habits

A 'Perfect' Diet - Our Gift to You!

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Outdoor Exercise Checklist for Allergy Sufferers

WebMD Insider SurveyEasy Tips That Make a Big Difference in the Environment

Oh, Baby!

The new WebMD Pregnancy Week by Week newsletter takes you through allthe ups and downs on the journey to delivery. Best of all, it's free!Sign up today!

From the Dieting Club: 25-50 Lbs. message board:

Not Losing Weight, Losing Inches?

This member isn't seeing any losses on the scale, but she's lost aninch around her middle and her bras fit more loosely. What's going on? Isthis normal? Should she throw away her scale?