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How to Make Healthy Eating Choices
03/24/2009

STEPHENVILLE, Texas — Healthy eating is not about strict nutrition guidelines, staying thin, or depriving yourself of the foods you love. Rather, it’s about choosing a variety of foods from the basic food groups.

If you look closely at how you eat, you might find you aren't getting enough nutrients because you don't get the recommended number of servings from each food group.

“Looking at the Nutrition Facts Panel on food labels will give you an idea of what you’re eating,” said Ellen Wells, a registered and licensed dietitian at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville. “You may not realize some of the hidden fat in food.”

An easy way to make sure you are getting a balanced diet is to follow the U.S. Department of Agriculture food pyramid guidelines.

The USDA recommends through their MyPyramid guidelines that people:

  • Choose low-fat or lean meats and poultry.
  • Eat calcium-rich foods. When choosing milk products, choose fat-free or low-fat.
  • Limit solid fats like butter, shortening and lard.
  • Eat a variety of fruit, but stay away from fruit juices. Choose fresh, frozen, canned or dried fruit.
  • Try to make half your grains “whole” grains. Eat at least three ounces whole grain bread, crackers, cereal, rice or pasta every day.
  • Eat a variety of vegetables. Focus on eating more dark green vegetables and dry beans and peas.

“Changing your diet doesn’t happen overnight,” Wells said. “The best way to make changes is gradually so that you can easily stick with them. Eating foods you love in moderation will help you eat a better diet overall as will choosing a wide variety of foods to get all the nutrients you need.”

For more information, visit mypyramid.gov.

About Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Stephenville is a 98-bed acute care, full-service facility serving Erath and surrounding counties since 1926. The hospital's services include inpatient and outpatient surgery, women’s services, advanced diagnostic imaging, inpatient and outpatient physical therapy and wound care. Texas Health Stephenville, an affiliate of the faith-based, nonprofit Texas Health Resources system, has been recognized as a Nurse-Friendly Hospital and a Level IV Trauma Center. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL.

About Texas Health Resources
Texas Health Resources is one of the largest faith-based, nonprofit health care delivery systems in the United States and the largest in North Texas in terms of patients served. The system of 13 hospitals includes Texas Health Arlington Memorial Hospital, Texas Health Harris Methodist hospitals, Texas Health Presbyterian hospitals, and a medical research organization. Texas Health is a corporate member or partner in six additional hospitals and surgery centers. For more information, call 1-877-THR-WELL, or visit www.TexasHealth.org.

Doctors on the medical staff practice independently and are not employees or agents of the hospital.

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