Best meal choices have lots of color

MONTROSE — The USDA released new dietary guidelines earlier this year urging Americans to be conscientious about food labels and to avoid sugar and fat.

These guidelines, along with more access to fresh, local food may help residents live healthier lives, according to Teresa Tomasi-Maloney, a registered dietitian for the Montrose Memorial Hospital. She said the Valley Food Partnership will be one more option for residents to use in deciding what to eat.

She said a number of Community Supported Agriculture programs in Montrose, Delta and Mesa counties allow people to pick up fresh food each week in exchange for monthly fees.

“We encourage whole foods and to stay away from processed food,” Maloney said.

Recent studies have confirmed certain food dyes in processed foods are linked with hyperactivity in children. In response, the amount of medication prescribed for that disorder is on the rise, according to USDA findings.

When you eat, use a smaller plate, and that plate should have vegetables and lots of color. “The more colorful it is, the more nutrients you get,” Maloney said.

Maloney said she tells patients to stay away from food containing high-fructose corn syrup and food labels containing more than five ingredients.

The USDA guidelines are published every six years.

On May 2, the USDA announced it is stepping up efforts as part of the Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 by President Barack Obama to bolster farm-to-school programs across the country.

“This rule is an important milestone that will help ensure that our children have access to fresh produce and other agricultural products,” USDA Undersecretary Kevin Concannon said in a news release. “It will also give a much-needed boost to local farmers and agricultural producers.”


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