News from the Tennessee Valley Food

Eat wisely from 5 food groups

Eating wisely from each of the five food groups providing various nutrients every day will help achieve your Fountain of Youth goal, Mary Martin Nordness said, but there are a couple of other guidelines, too. Eat different foods from each of those five food groups each day, and select lean or low-fat foods more often. You will see how those 10 “Fountain of Youth” foods fit into this must-have food group list:

  • From the milk group, which provides calcium, select 3 cups from the variety of milk, yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, and frozen yogurts or puddings on the market.

  • From the meat group, for iron, choose 51/2 ounces from cooked lean meats, poultry or fish; eggs (one egg is the equivalent of 1 ounce); peanut butter (2 tablespoons equals 2 ounces); or 1/2 cup cooked dried peas or beans.

  • From the vegetable group, which provides vitamin A, you need 21/2 cups. That could include 1 cup of tomato juice; 1 cup raw or cooked vegetables such as broccoli or bell peppers; a medium potato; or raw leafy vegetables (2 cups equals 1 cup).

  • From the fruit group, which provides vitamin C, get in 2 cups a day, whether you drink a cup of juice or eat a small apple (1 cup) or half a grapefruit (1/2 cup) or a cup of cantaloupe or 1/2 cup of raw, canned or cooked fruit.

  • From the grain group, which provides fiber, you need 6 ounces (make at least half of that whole grains). Choose from these 1-ounce equivalents: 1 slice bread; 1/2 of an English muffin or burger bun; 1 ounce ready-to-eat cereal; 1/2 cup pasta, rice, grits or cooked cereal; or 1 tortilla, roll or muffin.

    Also take in some oils, which can come from fish, nuts or avocados or canola, olive, corn or soybean oil.

    Didn’t see potato chips, soft drinks, wine, pies, cakes, doughnuts and cookies on the list? That’s right — they’re not on the must-eat list because you should eat them only in limited amounts. They don’t have enough nutrients to make the five food groups, and they usually add calories without nutrients.

    Instead, Nordness advises checking your refrigerator and pantry for the “Fountain of Youth” foods listed at left, or whip up some of the following recipes, such as the Cucumber Yogurt Dip (above) to serve with fresh veggies.

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