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Nutrition and Calorie Awareness

Once again we have another assignment dedicated to common questions about nutrition and how to make better choices on the meals we eat both at home and in restaurants.

What percentage of your meal should be made up of fruits and vegetables?

Per the Choosemyplate.gov site 50% of the meal should be made up of fruits and vegetables.

 What is an empty calorie?

Calories from solid fats and/or added sugars. Solid fats and added sugars add calories to the food but few or no nutrients. For this reason, the calories from solid fats and added sugars in a food are often called empty calories.

 Why are beans and peas considered a unique food group?

Beans and peas are the mature forms of legumes. They include kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, lima beans, black-eyed peas, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), split peas and lentils. They are available in dry, canned, and frozen forms. These foods are excellent sources of plant protein, and also provide other nutrients such as iron and zinc. They are similar to meats, poultry, and fish in their contribution of these nutrients. Therefore, they are considered part of the Protein Foods Group. Many people consider beans and peas as vegetarian alternatives for meat. However, they are also considered part of the Vegetable Group because they are excellent sources of dietary fiber and nutrients such as folate and potassium

 Are beans and legumes counted as a vegetable or a protein? Explain your answer.

They are considered part of both food groups because they contain vital nutrients found in both vegetables and proteins. Vegetarians have used beans and legumes as a meat substitute for this reason for years.

 Plug in burger to the search box and then select bacon cheeseburger on a bun. Go to the add-on menu and select mayonnaise. How many calories does this burger contain?

370 calories

 List one way to cut back on sodium consumption.

  • Introduce additional flavor to your foods with herbs and spices like garlic, oregano, basil, pepper, thyme and sesame. These all add flavor without the extra sodium. If a recipe calls for salt, cut the amount called for in half and taste it before adding more.
  • Make healthy choices at the grocery store. Processed foods (anything in a box or bag) tend to be high in sodium because it helps preserve foods longer and increase flavor. Always read labels for the foods you buy, including the sodium content on the nutrition facts label and the ingredients list.
  • Remember that “low-fat” or “low-calorie” doesn’t mean healthy. These diet foods can also be higher in sodium because manufacturers hope that added sodium, a flavor-enhancer, will bring back the flavor that is missing since fat and other higher-calorie ingredients are removed. This is especially true for frozen dinners, which are often loaded with extra salt.
  • Choose low-, no- or reduced-sodium versions of your favorite soups, frozen meals, canned foods, and snacks. Even butter is available without added salt!
  • Choose fresh or frozen veggies over canned varieties, which often contain added salt to help increase shelf life. If you can’t find sodium-free varieties of canned vegetables, rinse the can’s contents in a colander under water before cooking to remove excess salt.
  • Olives, pickles and other items packed in brine are saturated in salt, as are many smoked and cured meats, like salami and bologna. Limit your intake of these high-sodium foods and be on the lookout for lower-sodium varieties.

 Select “2010 Dietary Guidelines” (pdf) from the left hand menu (or from the main page) Scroll down to page 5. What is a nutrient dense food? Provide three examples.

Nutrient-dense foods and beverages provide vitamins, minerals, and other substances that may have positive health effects with relatively few calories. The term “nutrient dense” indicates that the nutrients and other beneficial substances in a food have not been “diluted” by the addition of calories from added solid fats, added sugars, or added refined starches, or by the solid fats naturally present in the food. Nutrient-dense foods and beverages are lean or low in solid fats, and minimize or exclude added solid fats, sugars, starches, and sodium. Ideally, they also are in forms that retain naturally occurring components, such as dietary fiber. All vegetables, fruits, whole grains, seafood, eggs, beans and peas, unsalted nuts and seeds, fat-free and low-fat milk and milk products, and lean meats and poultry—when prepared without adding solid fats or sugars—are nutrient-dense foods.

 Scroll down to page 14 What is your approximate recommended calorie intake? 2600-2800 calories per day

 Scroll down to page 35

Provide three reasons to consume more fruits and vegetables. First, most vegetables and fruits are major contributors of a number of nutrients that are underconsumed in the United States, including folate, magnesium, potassium, dietary fiber, and vitamins A, C, and K.61 Several of these are of public health concern for the general public (e.g., dietary fiber and potassium) or for a specific group (e.g., folic acid for women who are capable of becoming pregnant). Second, consumption of vegetables and fruits is associated with reduced risk of many chronic diseases. Specifically, moderate evidence indicates 1that intake of at least 2/2 cups of vegetables and fruits per day is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke. Some vegetables and fruits may be protective against certain types of cancer. Third, most vegetables and fruits, when prepared without added fats or sugars, are relatively low in calories. Eating them instead of higher calorie foods can help adults and children achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

 Scroll down to page 36

What is the difference between a whole grain and a refined grain?

  • Whole grains- include the entire grain seed, usually called the kernel. The kernel consists of three components—the bran, germ, and endosperm. If the kernel has been cracked, crushed, or flaked, then, to be called a “whole grain” a food must retain the same relative proportions of these components as they exist in the intact grain. Whole grains are con-sumed either as a single food (e.g., wild rice or popcorn) or as an ingredient in foods (e.g., in cereals, breads, and crackers). Some examples of whole-grain ingredients include buckwheat, bulgur, millet, oatmeal, quinoa, rolled oats, brown or wild rice, whole-grain barley, whole rye, and whole wheat.
  • Refined grains- have been milled to remove the bran and germ from the grain. This is done to give grains a finer texture and improve their shelf life, but it also removes dietary fiber, iron, and many B vitamins.

 How many calories in the following:

3oz of raw cod fish 70

3oz raw salmon 156

3oz strip loin or NY steak 176

1 cup of peas 117

1 cup of wheat berries cooked 302

1 cup of raw carrots 52

 Plug in three more food items of your choice and post the calorie count

Hotdog 242

Bacon 103

Mac and cheese 207


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