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Your overall diet counts most.

The overall pattern of foods that you eat day in and day out is more important to your health than individual foods or nutrients, reports the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in an updated position statement, "Total Diet Approach to Healthy Eating." Classifying certain foods as "good" or "bad" may be overly simplistic and lead to poor eating behaviors compared to the total diet approach, according to the report. In 2011, 81 percent of adults cited not wanting to give up their favorite foods as a reason for not eating healthier. However, moderation, portion size and exercise are key to balancing the amount of energy you receive through food and beverages in order to maintain a healthy diet and weight. Using this approach, you can fit your favorite foods into an overall health-promoting diet pattern that focuses on lean meat, low-fat dairy, legumes, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. The Academy points to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's MyPlate ( as an excellent tool to steer you towards a total dietary approach for optimal health.

Source: The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

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Title Annotation:Just In
Publication:Environmental Nutrition
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:May 1, 2013
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