Mitzi Dulan – America's Nutrition Expert
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Go, Grow, Glow Principal for Healthy Living
by Mitzi Dulan, RD, America’s Nutrition Expert®
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Jul
1
2010

You may think that nutrition is too difficult; that there are too many rules to keep in mind. Yes, there are a lot of target numbers, exceptions, nutrients, and more, but really it is simpler than you think. How you feel when you are eating well is the ultimate way to track your nutrition. Instead of worrying about meeting the dietary guidelines for every nutrient, follow the Go, Grow, Glow Principal for healthy living.

In this principal, food requirements are broken down into three broad categories. Incorporating these three groups will bring you to a healthy, balanced state.

GO
Carbohydrates are the main source of energy in the body. They are broken down most readily and provide a quick boost of energy. It is best to choose whole grain carbohydrates because the processing to make white bread, flour, or rice removes a lot of the important nutrients. The part of the grain that is removed is where the fiber and many vitamins are housed. Fiber in whole grains helps to keep you feeling full longer and keeps your digestive track regular. Good choices of carbohydrates are brown rice, oatmeal, whole wheat bread, and quinoa. Aim to have around 45-55 % of total calories from carbohydrates.

whole-grain-carbs

GROW
Protein is the nutrient important for growth and development of the body. Protein is composed of various amino acids, which are the building blocks of muscle, cell structure, and DNA. The best choices are lean protein because they have less total fat and saturated fat. It is important to remember that protein can come from non-animal sources. Beans and nuts provide good low-fat options for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. Aim to have 20-30% of total calories from protein.

protein

GLOW
A diet rich in plant-based foods is essential in maintaining a healthy glow. Fruits and vegetables are high nutrient dense without having high energy densities. This means that they have a lot of vitamins and minerals without a lot of fat and calories. Vitamins and minerals are important for physiological functioning to maintain all of the chemical reactions. Many vitamins also function as antioxidants, which are substances that go around collecting free radicals that would otherwise cause damage to the cells. Aim to have 4-5 servings per day of both fruits and vegetables.

fruits-and-vegetables-45

Research Assistance by Kaylee O’Connell

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