[ Home ] [ Recipes ] [ Shirley's collected recipes ][Mom's Recipes]
Nutritional Guideline

1.  TITLE::Nutrition and Your Health:Dietary Guidelines for Americans/4th Edition PUBLICATION
DATE: December 1995
ENTRY DATE:January 1996
CONTACT: Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion

        1120 20th St., NW / Suite 200 North Lobby
        Washington, DC 20036

DOCUMENT SIZE: 60K, 50 pages
COPYRIGHT STATUS: Not copyrighted

Home and Garden Bulletin No. 232

Plant foods provide fiber

Fiber is found only in plant foods like whole-grain breads and cereals, beans and peas, and other vegetables and fruits. Because there are different types of fiber in
foods, choose a variety of foods daily. Eating a variety of fiber-containing plant foods is important for proper bowel function, can reduce symptoms of chronic
constipation, diverticular disease, and hemorrhoids, and may lower the risk for heart disease and some cancers. However, some of the health benefits associated
with a high-fiber diet may come from other components present in these foods, not just from fiber itself. For this reason, fiber is best obtained from foods rather than

Plant foods provide a variety of vitamins and minerals essential for health

Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and provide many essential nutrients and other food components important for health. These foods are excellent
sources of vitamin C, vitamin B6, carotenoids, including those which form vitamin A (box 7), and folate (box 8). The antioxidant nutrients found in plant foods (e.g.,
vitamin C, carotenoids, vitamin E, and certain minerals) are presently of great interest to scientists and the public because of their potentially beneficial role in
reducing the risk for cancer and certain other chronic diseases. Scientists are also trying to determine if other substances in plant foods protect against cancer.


     Dark-green leafy vegetables (such as spinach, collards, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens), broccoli, carrots, pumpkin and calabasa, red 'pepper', sweet
     potatoes, and tomatoes
     Fruits like mango, papaya, cantaloupe
          Does not include complete list of examples. You can obtain additional information from "Good Sources of Nutrients," USDA, January 1990. Also read
          food labels for brand-specific information.

Folate, also called folic acid, is a B vitamin that, among its many functions, reduces the risk of a serious type of birth defect (box 8). Minerals such as potassium,
found in a wide variety of vegetables and fruits, and calcium, found in certain vegetables, may help reduce the risk for high blood pressure (see boxes 3 and 14).


     Dry beans (like red beans, navy beans, and soybeans), lentils, chickpeas, cow peas, and peanuts
     Many vegetables, especially leafy greens (spinach, cabbage, brussels sprouts, romaine, looseleaf lettuce), peas, okra, sweet corn, beets, and broccoli
     Fruits such as blackberries, boysenberries, kiwifruit, oranges, plantains, strawberries, orange juice, and pineapple juice
          Does not include complete list of examples. You can obtain additional information from "Good Sources of Nutrients," USDA, January 1990. The
          Nutrition Facts Label may also provide brand-specific information on this nutrient.

The availability of fresh fruits and vegetables varies by season and region of the country, but frozen and canned fruits and vegetables ensure a plentiful supply of these
healthful foods throughout the year. Read the Nutrition Facts Label to help choose foods that are rich in carbohydrates, fiber, and nutrients, and low in fat and


6-11 servings* of grain products (breads, cereals, pasta, and rice)

     Eat products made from a variety of whole grains, such as wheat, rice, oats, corn, and barley.
     Eat several servings of whole-grain breads and cereals daily.
     Prepare and serve grain products with little or no fats and sugars.

3-5 servings* of various vegetables and vegetable juices

     Choose dark-green leafy and deep-yellow vegetables often.
     Eat dry beans, peas, and lentils often.
     Eat starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and corn.
     Prepare and serve vegetables with little or no fats.

2-4 servings* of various fruits and fruit juices

     Choose citrus fruits or juices, melons, or berries regularly.
     Eat fruits as desserts or snacks.
     Drink fruit juices.
     Prepare and serve fruits with little or no added sugars.
          See box 2 for what counts as a serving.


Choose a diet low in saturated fat

Fats contain both saturated and unsaturated (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated) fatty
acids. Saturated fat raises blood cholesterol more than other forms of fat.
Reducing saturated fat to less than 10 percent of calories will help you lower your
blood cholesterol level.

The fats from meat, milk, and milk products are the main sources of saturated fats in
most diets. Many bakery products are also sources of saturated fats. Vegetable oils
supply smaller amounts of saturated fat. On the Nutrition Facts Label, 20 grams of
saturated fat (9 percent of caloric intake) is the Daily Value for a 2,000-calorie diet
(figure 4).

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat. Olive and canola oils are particularly high in
monounsaturated fats;most other vegetable oils, nuts, and high-fat fish are
good sources of polyunsaturated fats. Both kinds of unsaturated fats reduce blood
cholesterol when they replace saturated fats in the diet. The fats in most fish are low
in saturated fatty acids and contain a certain type of polyunsaturated fatty acid
omega-3) that is under study because of a possible association with a decreased
risk for heart disease in certain people. Remember that the total fat in the diet should
be consumed at a moderate level -- that is, no more than 30 percent of calories.
Mono- and polyunsaturated fat sources should replace saturated fats within this limit.

Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, such as those used in many margarines and
shortenings, contain a particular form of unsaturated fat known as trans-fatty acids

Choose a diet low in cholesterol

The body makes the cholesterol it requires. In addition, cholesterol is obtained from
food. Dietary cholesterol comes from animal sources such as egg yolks, meat
(especially organ meats such as liver), poultry, fish, and higher fat milk products.
Many of these foods are also high in saturated fats. Choosing foods with less
cholesterol and saturated fat will help lower your blood cholesterol levels (box 11).

The Nutrition Facts Label lists the Daily Value for cholesterol as 300 mg. You
can keep your cholesterol intake at this level or lower by eating more grain products,
vegetables and fruits, and by limiting intake of high cholesterol foods.

BOX 14

     Vegetables and fruits in general, especially
          potatoes and sweet potatoes
          spinach, swiss chard, broccoli, winter squashes, and parsnips
          dates, bananas, cantaloupes, mangoes, plantains, dried apricots, raisins, prunes, orange juice, and grapefruit juice
          dry beans, peas, lentils
     Milk and yogurt are good sources of potassium and have less sodium than cheese; cheese has much less potassium and usually has added salt.
          Does not include complete list of examples. You can obtain additional information from "Good Sources of Nutrients," USDA, January 1990. The
          Nutrition Facts Label may also provide brand-specific information on this nutrient.


The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture acknowledge the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory
Committee -- the basis for this edition. The Committee consisted of Doris Howes Calloway, Ph.D.(chair), Richard J. Havel, M.D. (vice-chair), Dennis M. Bier,
M.D., William H. Dietz, M.D., Ph.D., Cutberto Garza, M.D., Ph.D., Shiriki K. Kumanyika, Ph.D., R.D., Marion Nestle, Ph.D., M.P.H., Irwin H. Rosenberg,
M.D., Sachiko T. St. Jeor, Ph.D., R.D., Barbara O. Schneeman, Ph.D., and John W. Suttie, Ph.D. The Departments also acknowledge the staff work of the
executive secretaries to the committee: Karil Bialostosky, M.S., and Linda Meyers, Ph.D., from HHS; Eileen Kennedy, D.Sc., R.D., and Debra Reed, M.S., from


2.  Are You Too Busy To Eat Healthy? Fruits and Vegetables Are a Convenience for Busy People!, HYG-5302-98

Ohio State University Extension Factsheet
Family and Consumer Sciences
1787 Neil Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210-1295

Susan Zies
Extension Agent, Family & Consumer Sciences, Lucas County

Who has time to think about what they're eating? Everyone - according to the National Cancer Institute, especially with the variety of convenient fruit and vegetable choices on the market today.

As more families feel increased time constraints from jobs, family, and other commitments, a healthful diet is easy to overlook. In our hurried days, we don't always make the best food choices. However, it is possible to meet the demands of our busy lives and still make healthful food choices.

Did you know that eating five fruits and vegetables a day is important to help you maintain your health? Along with tasting great, fruits and vegetables are low in calories and fat and high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Eating lots of fruits and vegetables as part of a low-fat, high-fiber diet may help reduce cancer risk. A recent United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) survey shows the average adult ate about 4.4 servings of fruits and vegetables a day in 1994 - up from an average of 3.9 daily servings from 1989-1991.

Here are some ways to help you and your family.

Get Your 5 A Day!
Have fruits and veggies on hand! It's hard to choose grapes over cookies for a snack if they aren't around. Studies show that households that have fruits and vegetables available for meals and snacks will eat more of them! Put a few extra fruits and vegetables into your shopping cart this week.

Commuting with 5 A Day
Drink fruit juice instead of soda or coffee in the car. You can keep 8- to 12-ounce cans or bottles in your refrigerator, chilled and ready to go! Or you can buy them at gas stations and fast food chains. Bring with you fruits and vegetables that are in the can or can be eaten by hand. Try these convenience foods - apricots, grapes, apples, nectarines, bananas, orange segments, broccoli, pears, carrots, plums, celery stalks, strawberries, cherries.

Shopping for 5 A Day
Take advantage of easy options such as precut, cleaned, and packaged fresh fruit and vegetables. Frozen, diced, or canned fruits and vegetables are also easy to use

Buy low-fat yogurt, fruit juice, and fresh, canned, or frozen fruit to blend a quick smoothie in the morning. Drink it at home - or pour it into an insulated cup to keep it cold and take it with you.

Buy pre-cut vegetables (packaged or from the salad bar) for brown bag lunches and try dipping in low-fat salad dressing.

Buy frozen bags of berries, peaches, or melon balls and use as needed.

What Is a Serving?
A serving is smaller than many people think. One serving is:

3/4 cup (6 oz.) of 100% fruit or vegetable juice
1/2 cup cooked or canned vegetables or fruit
1 cup raw leafy vegetables
1/2 cup dried beans or peas
1/4 cup dried fruit

Remember, five is the minimum - the more the better!

Fast & Easy Fruits & Vegetables for Busy People, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service and National Institutes of Health (1992).
Take the 5 A Day Challenge - It's Easy - Even for People on the Go, National
Cancer Institute, 1997.

Keith L. Smith, Associate Vice President for Ag. Adm. and Director, OSU

3.  Some low-fat substitutes from The HealthyOven Baking Book by Sarah Phillips

. . .  I also substituted low-gluten cake flour for the all-purpose flour, as cake flour will produce a more tender cake, which can be a problem win the absence of fat.

To make up for the flavor lost by reducing the amount of melted chocolate, I added one-half cup of cocoa powder, which is a surprisingly low-fat ingredient (see How Chocolate Works for details). In addition I added two teaspoons of instant espresso to complement the chocolate flavor. I used low-fat buttermilk which has a similar full, rich flavor to sour cream, but fewer calories and less fat.

Egg yolks provide fat and lecithin (a natural emulsifier), which contribute to the fine texture of baked goods, and egg whites contain proteins that give structure to the final product. I could have substituted four egg whites for the two whole eggs, but I kept one egg and substituted two whites for the other. The little bit of lecithin in that one yolk made a big difference. Too many egg whites will make a baked good dry and rubbery.

Finally, I added an important instruction to the recipe: "Do not open the oven until the last five minutes of baking." All low-fat and reduced-fat baked goods are extremely sensitive to shifts in oven temperature (which occur when the door is opened) and could fall.

Of course, I didn't get it right on the first try. But, get it right I did, because I came to understand the interplay between the ingredients and the techniques used in reduced-fat baked goods. Add finally, after many trials, I came up with a rich, delicious, chocolate cake and a new fudgy frosting that my family loves. This Chocolate Fudge Layer Cake with the Fudgy Chocolate Frosting, was reduced by over 280 calories, 18 grams fat (6 grams saturated fat), and 69 mg cholesterol, per slice!