MODESTO, Calif., Jan. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The start of a new year is a great time to hit the "reset" button on your health routine. What better blueprint for better health and well-being than the newly released 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans? Updated every five years, the Dietary Guidelines provide advice for making food and physical activity choices that promote good health, prevent disease, and serve as the foundation for all federal nutrition policy and education programs. The 100+ page document reflects the overall body of nutrition science and details everything from specific food groups and nutrients Americans aren't eating enough of, to recommendations for improving eating behaviors and environments across the nation.
Weeding through all these details can seem daunting, but healthy eating doesn't need to be complicated. To help bring the new Guidelines to life on your plate, California Almonds has teamed up with nutrition expert Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, to share simple tips, recipes and a nourishing meal plan, found on Almonds.com.
"These Guidelines are really focused on overall healthy dietary patterns, rather than individual nutrients," says Largeman-Roth. "I especially love that plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and legumes are at the heart of the recommendations. Choosing these foods more often is a great first step toward improving your diet."
Largeman-Roth recommends starting with small changes, like modifying recipes to include more of the foods you should increase (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts) and less of those you should reduce (sugar-sweetened foods and beverages, refined grains and foods high in saturated fat). "I find that the versatility and nutrient package of almonds makes them a go-to pantry staple to create healthy meals and snacks."
The new Guidelines address the impact of snacking on the overall diet, noting that nearly half of Americans (40 to 50 percent) consume two to three snacks per day, and that snacks are currently a major contributor to our intake of added sugars and saturated fats. "It's so important to look at snacks as a way to not only keep hunger at bay, but also improve the quality of our diets," says Largeman-Roth. "Make smart snack picks by choosing foods that have a mix of protein, fiber and good fat.1 Almonds are right on target with 6 grams of satisfying protein, 4 grams of filling fiber and 13 grams of good mono- and polyunsaturated fats in each 1-ounce serving. I like to snack on them plain, when I'm on the go, or tossed in my Power Protein Granola atop yogurt."
Largeman-Roth also notes the Guidelines' emphasis on healthy eating patterns includes limiting added sugars to less than 10 percent of calories per day. "Often times, when foods and beverages have sugars added, they are really adding empty calories that don't contribute good nutrition. If you're focusing on whole plant-based foods and selecting smarter snacks, that really doesn't leave a lot of room for those empty calories. So when I find myself craving something sweet, I reach for something more nourishing. Almonds come in a variety of flavors and pair well with many foods that are naturally sweet like fresh or dried fruit."
Regardless of where you are on your health and well-being journey, Largeman-Roth has lifestyle tips and a "Fabulous New You Meal Plan" to help you bring the new Dietary Guidelines to life and start the new year feeling your best. Visit Almonds.com/2015DGA for these tools, recipes and more on Frances' food philosophy. Follow Frances throughout the year and join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
About Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN
Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN, is a New York Times best selling author and nationally recognized health expert. Frances was the Food and Nutrition Director at Health magazine for nearly eight years. She writes for Parents, BabyCenter, Today.com, Cooking Light magazine and other publications. Frances is a sought after spokesperson and provides private nutrition counseling to clients through her HealthyHousecalls.
Frances is a frequent guest on national TV, including the Today Show, Good Morning America, Access Hollywood Live, CNN, The Rachael Ray Show, and The Dr. Oz Show. She has also lent her expertise as a judge for Food Network Challenge and The James Beard Awards. Frances is a contributor and on-air spokesperson for Cooking Light magazine. Her latest cookbook is Eating In Color: Delicious, Healthy Recipes for You and Your Family. Frances earned her undergraduate degree from Cornell University and completed her dietetic internship at Columbia University.
Frances lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and three kids. To learn more, go to www.franceslargemanroth.com, or follow her on Twitter and Instagram at @FrancesLRothRD.
About California Almonds
California almonds are a natural, wholesome and nutrient-rich food -- high in vitamin E and magnesium, with 6 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber per one ounce (28-gram) serving. They're grown by more than 6,500 growers in California's Central Valley, which is the only region in the U.S. able to successfully grow almonds commercially. They're the second most valuable crop in California, and in fact comprise 80 percent of the world's almonds.
The majority of almond farms in California are fewer than 100 acres, and nearly 90 percent are family farms, many operated by third and fourth generation family growers. Back in 1950, almond growers decided to combine their resources to found and fund what is now the Almond Board of California, a non-profit Federal Marketing Order that operates under the supervision of the United States Department of Agriculture.
The Almond Board supports growers with a research-based approach to production and marketing. It has funded more than $42 million since 1973 in research related to almond production, quality and safety, nutrition, and environmental aspects of farming. This has led to a number of breakthroughs and a spirit of continual improvement that has helped almond growers be increasingly efficient, productive and responsible with their valuable resources. To learn more about the Almond Board's leadership in water efficiency, waste reuse, carbon reduction, bee health and more, visit its blog, and to learn more about almonds, visit almonds.com or almondsustainability.org.
1Good news about almonds and heart health. Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as almonds, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. One serving of almonds (28g) has 13g of unsaturated fat and only 1g of saturated fat.
SOURCE California Almonds