2017-10-11 / Living

Five Food Groups

In the media, we often hear how one group of food is bad for us or how we need to cut out a specific food group. There are five food groups for a reason and while some may need more moderation than others, you can be healthy eating a variety of food from each food group.

In fact, it is important to eat fruits and vegetables every day, and to try to remember to eat a rainbow.

Simply eating more fruits and vegetables and fewer high fat, high sugar, low fiber foods can lead the way to better health for you and your family.

I have heard some comments about giving up fruit and severely reducing the amount of vegetables in their diet. Science continues to find strong links between increased intake of fruits and vegetables and improved health, reduced risk of several major chronic diseases and perhaps even delayed onset of age-related health problems.

In fact, eating fruits and vegetables has been shown to help aid in weight loss. Obesity is a risk factor for many chronic diseases including diabetes and heart disease.

Currently, 64 percent of Americans are considered either overweight or obese. One of the things that make fruits and vegetables so special is that they are full of vitamins and minerals, which are natural substances that are essential to good health.

If you have specific questions about the importance of fruits and vegetables or any food group, contact our Extension Office at 336-599-1195 to ask questions.

In October, our monthly Lunch N’ Learn workshop which is always held at the Person County Office Building will focus on how to “Stretch Your Food Budget” by discussing meal planning, shopping tips, and unit pricing.

Join us on Wednesday, Oct. 18 from 12 to 1 p.m. The cost for each of the Lunch N’ Learn workshops is $5 each and you must pre-register and pre-pay for this event by this Friday to register visit Room 149 of the Extension Office

Choose a variety of foods and beverages from each food group to build healthy eating styles. Include choices from all the MyPlate food groups to meet your calorie and nutrient needs when planning or preparing meals and snacks. Here is a recipe from http://choosemyplate. gov to get your My Plate requirements for your family.

For more Food for Thought programs, activities and recipes, check online at http://facebook.com/personcountyfcs

Healthy Chicken

serves 4

Juice of 1 fresh lime

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 tsp Cajun seasoning

2 green apples, peeled and minced

2 celery stalks, thinly sliced

½ artichoke, peeled and thinly sliced

2 Tbsp dried cranberries

2 Tbsp minced walnuts

½ cup minced red onion

1/3 cup mayonnaise

1/3 cup Dijon mustard

Freshly ground black pepper

4 lettuce leaves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the lime juice with the chicken and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. On a large nonstick baking sheet, bake the chicken for 15 minutes on each side. Remove from the oven and cut into ½ inch cubes. In a large salad bowl, combine the chicken with the remaining ingredients and stir thoroughly to combine. Refrigerate before serving on top of the lettuce leaves.

Nutritional Information: 335 calories, 13g fa, 20g carbohydrates, 33g protein

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