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Enjoy naturally nutrient-rich foods for better health


Statement from the Naturally Nutrient Rich Coalition

The United States Departments of Agriculture (USDA) and Health and Human Services (HHS) today released the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans – science-based dietary guidance that is updated every five years by the government.

The 2005 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee indicated most Americans consume too many foods that are high in calories but low in nutrients. To address this concern, the new Guidelines reinforce a long-standing and widely accepted cornerstone of nutrition – nutrient density, or enjoying more foods that are naturally rich in nutrients first and selecting less nutrient-rich options as caloric requirements and physical activity levels allow.

The Naturally Nutrient Rich Coalition – comprised of 13 food commodity groups – supports the overall theme of the new guidelines, including the emphasis on selecting a variety of nutrient-rich foods within and among all five food groups to achieve optimum health. Nutrients – such as vitamins A, C and E, zinc, calcium, complex carbohydrates, potassium, iron, fiber, B-vitamins and protein – are needed at all ages to promote healthy growth, fuel activity and prevent chronic diseases. And, as people watch calories to reduce their waistlines, it’s critical to make each calorie count more by selecting foods with more essential nutrients in fewer calories.

Research indicates consumers are more motivated by positive, realistic messages, and the Coalition offers simple "how to" advice to help people eat more nutrient-rich foods for healthier, more active lifestyles.

  • Enjoy naturally nutrient-rich foods as the foundation of a healthy diet:
  • brightly colored fruits
  • vegetables, including potatoes and others that are deep green, red and orange
  • whole, fortified and fiber-rich grain foods
  • nonfat or low-fat milk and milk products
  • lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, beans and nuts

Many consumers already embrace the concept of enjoying naturally nutrient-rich foods. According to a nationally representative survey of adults, more than 80 percent of respondents said they would be willing to change their diet based on a recommendation to eat naturally nutrient-rich foods first (IPSOS-Public Affairs, March 2004).

Kristin Konneker | EurekAlert!
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