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Q: How can I eat healthier?

Posted January 15, 2014 in Advice Column, Ankeny

A: One of the easiest things you can do to eat healthier and improve your health involves using a tool you already use every time you eat — your plate. Using your plate as a guide can help you eat the right foods and right amount of foods for better health. The concept is simple. First consider the size of your plate. Use a nine-inch plate as a way to reduce portion size and calories. Second, review the food groups and choose foods that fit into each section. To do this, visually divide the plate in half and fill half the plate with vegetables and/or fruit. Next, fill one-quarter of the plate with lean meat or protein. Then, fill one-quarter of the plate with grains, including whole grains as much as possible. Finally add one serving of low-fat milk, yogurt or cheese. Be sure to focus on whole, low-fat foods such as fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fresh, lean protein, skim milk, cheese and nonfat yogurt. Here are examples of how to make MyPlate™ work for you.

• Family dinner: Whole wheat spaghetti noodles topped with meat sauce, side of leafy green salad with cherry tomatoes, glass of skim milk, broiled pineapple for dessert.

• Brown bag lunch: Sandwich – whole wheat bread, turkey, low-fat cheese and fresh vegetables, side of baby carrots, 2 clementines.

• Quick breakfast: Parfait – nonfat yogurt layered with berries, granola and sliced almonds, banana on the side. For more information on healthier eating or specific information on MyPlate™, contact one of your local Hy-Vee dietitians.

The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

Contact your Ankeny Hy-Vee dietitians for further questions, 515-964-0900 (410 N. Ankeny Blvd.) or 515-963-3130 (2510 S.W. State St.).

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