Content provided by: Tiffani Ghere, Clinical Pediatric Dietitian In the past 20 years, unhealthy weight gain has run rampant in the U.S. The trend to obesity in adults is reflected by the statistics on children - and in order to prevent a national health disaster, we need to begin reversing those numbers NOW. That's what Sapphire at School is all about. Here are a few choices you can make at home to reinforce the healthy approach to food that we advocate.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE AND WELL-BEING Based on 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans

REDUCE PORTIONS | Be Mindful and Eat Less Enjoy your food, but avoid over-sized portions and over-eating.

INCREASE PLANT-BASED FOODS | Explore Vegetables and Fruit Options Visit local farmer's markets and buy whole foods. Fruits and vegetables should compose half your plate.

REDUCE SODIUM | Be Aware of Hidden Salt Use natural and unprocessed meats. Use whole foods for flavor. 77% of sodium in foods is from processing. 12% of sodium in foods is naturally occurring. 5% is added during cooking. Excess salt covers the natural flavor of food. Try herbs and spices in its place.

REDUCE SUGAR | Be Aware of Hidden Sugars Read labels and watch for high-fructose corn syrup. Drink water instead of sugary, high-calorie drinks.

CHOOSE GOOD FATS There is a difference between good and bad fats:

  • GOOD | Monounsaturated Fats Found in plant oils like peanut oil, olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds.
  • BETTER | Plant Omega 6 PUFA Found in flax oil and walnuts.
  • BEST | Seafood Omega 3 PUFA Found in fish oil from salmon, sardines, anchovies, and mackerel (Omega 3 and 6).
  • WORST | Industrial Trans Fats Found in vegetable shortening, margarine, and processed snack foods like crackers and cookies. These unsaturated fatty acids are manmade in increase the shelf life of the food.

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