FICTION: The intake of foods that provide these important nutrients is less than what is recommended for most people in the United States. Including more fruits, vegetables, beans, dairy, and whole grains would help individuals get more of these nutrients that are needed for good health. 

FICTION: It is recommended that all Americans over the age of 2 limit sources of added sugars to less than 10 percent of their total calories, and children under 2 should avoid all sources of added sugars. For salt, also known as sodium, less than 2,300 milligrams per day is recommended and even less for children under the age of 14. 

FACT: All produce should be washed under running water even if the peel will not be eaten. This is because dirt and bacteria can be transferred from the peel to the inside of the fruit or vegetable as it is sliced or peeled. No soap should be used, but a produce brush is recommended when washing firmer produce, such as melons and potatoes. 

FICTION: Yogurt, cheese, buttermilk, and fortified soy milk also count as a 1 cup-equivalent from this MyPlate food group. 

FACT: A well-planned vegetarian eating style that includes adequate calories and a variety of foods can meet the protein needs of athletes. For personalized nutrition guidance, consult a registered dietitian nutritionist. 

FICTION: Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. Many nutritious foods are sources of carbohydrate, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. These foods provide vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber, which can positively affect our health. 

FACT: MyPlate represents a meal that includes fruits and vegetables on half of the plate and the other half is divided to include grains and a protein food. To complete the meal, a serving of dairy is recommended. 

FICTION: Eating a variety of vegetables throughout the week, including beans and peas, dark-green, red and orange, starchy and other vegetables will provide a variety of important nutrients like beta-carotene, vitamin C, zinc, potassium, folate and iron. 

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FICTION: While some foods may taste salty, others may not, and this can also vary based on the individual. Most of the salt we consume comes from foods that are already prepared. Choose foods with lower amounts of sodium by comparing their Nutrition Facts Labels and look for descriptions such as “No Salt Added” or “Reduced Sodium” when shopping. Cooking at home allows you to control the amount of salt in your meals. When eating out, request sauces and condiments be served on the side or ask if lower sodium options are available. 

FACT: When it comes to a healthy eating routine, one size does not fit all – everyone is unique. Nutrient needs vary based on our age, activity level, sex, health conditions and other factors. Registered dietitian nutritionists, also known as RDNs, can provide personalized nutrition advice to meet your goals. 

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