Notes on Nutrition
The best place to begin taking notes about nutrition is with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA offers recommendations about what they find to be healthy eating-related habits for the general public. And their information covers these main areas of focus: nutrition pyramid, needed nutrients, weight management, physical fitness and food safety.
The USDA has revised dietary guidelines and lists a food pyramid with color scheme to help people eat in a healthy manner.
The USDA advises people to drink and eat a wide variety of nutrient-dense beverages and foods from the basic food groups they note in their nutrition pyramid. They also suggest limiting alcohol, salt, added sugars, cholesterol, saturated and trans fats. And they recommend following plans like the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Eating Plan or their USDA Food Guide.
The general weight focus of the USDA stresses that people strive to maintain body weight in a healthy range, balancing calories from beverages and foods with those expended. And to help manage weight control as aging occurs, people are to gradually decrease the amounts of foods and beverages consumed and increase physical fitness.
The USDA desires people to regularly partake in physical activity while decreasing sedentary activities in order to promote not only healthy bodies but overall general health and psychological well-being. Optimum activity is targeted at around 30 -90 minutes minimum a day of moderate to intense physical, depending upon weight status, age and eating habits. For even more health benefits, a combination of either more intense activity and / or longer periods of activity is advised for most persons instead of just 30 minutes, checking with healthcare providers first for approval. Key areas of focus for physical fitness are stretching exercises for increased flexibility, cardiovascular conditioning and calisthenics or resistance exercises to improve endurance and muscles.
The USDA recommends that people avoid microbial food borne illnesses by thoroughly washing hands, surfaces where food is handled and vegetables and fruits. They also advise against washing meats and poultry; however, separate raw foods from those that are already cooked or ready to eat when shopping, handling and storing foods. They also recommend that foods need to be cooked at temperatures safe enough to destroy microorganisms and promptly stored in refrigeration or freezers if perishable. And they advise people to avoid:
Raw or unpasteurized milk
Products created from unpasteurized milk
raw or partially cooked eggs
Foods containing raw eggs
Raw or undercooked poultry and meats