EAT, ACT, THINK
Nutrition & Health Information From BYU Dining Services

A balanced diet is just that—balanced. Include a variety of food groups in every meal, and include a variety of foods from each food group throughout the week. Adding variety to your meals will make eating interesting and nutritious.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below you can find some GREAT information regarding vegetables, grains, fruits, proteins and dairy. For some great information on oils and water intake - check out thir pages by clicking on their icons.

 

    

 

Learn more about oils!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn nutritional facts about water!

 

 

 

 

Vegetables

 

Why?

Vegetables provide dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and folate.

 

What?

Vegetables can be fresh, frozen, canned, or dried/dehydrated. Canned, frozen, and dried vegetables are often processed during their peak, so the most nutrients are preserved. Especially when a vegetable is off season, frozen, canned or dried are great options.

 

There are 5 subgroups within the vegetable food group: red and orange, starchy, dark green, beans and peas, and other. Eat a variety of vegetables from each of subgroup each week.

 

-Red and orange: bell peppers, butternut squash, carrots, chili peppers, Hubbard squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, yams, and 100% vegetable juice

 

-Starchy: cassava, corn, green lima beans, green peas, jicama, plantains, potatoes, taro, and water chestnuts

 

-Dark Green: arugula, bok choy, broccoli, collard greens, kale, leafy lettuce (dark green), leeks, mesclun, mustard greens, romaine lettuce, spinach, and watercress

 

-Beans and peas: black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas or garbanzo beans (mashed as falafel), edamame, hummus, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, navy beans, pinto beans, soy beans, split peas, and white beans.

Beans and peas are unique. They are a subgroup of the plant OR protein group. Generally, if you eat meat, poultry and fish, then count beans and peas as vegetables. If you are vegetarian, then count them as protein.

 

-Other: Alfalfa sprouts, artichokes, asparagus, avocado, bean sprouts, beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, cucumbers, eggplant, garlic, green beans, green peppers, iceberg lettuce, mushrooms, okra, onions, radishes, red cabbage, scallions, snow peas, tomatillos, turnips, yellow squash, zucchini

 

Tips:

Make vegetables accessible. Prepare fresh vegetables and separate them into contains for snacks or meals. Frozen or canned vegetables are easy to throw in the microwave.

 

Try new things! Choose a new vegetable every once in a while—you might find a new favorite. The Commons at the Cannon Center introduces unusual vegetables throughout the semester.

 

Hack your snacks. Add vegetables to your snack or replace a current snack with vegetables. If it’s difficult to get them in, try adding a dip or dressing.

 

Can it. Canned vegetable can be a good way to add vegetables to your diet. If you are buying them from the store, try low-sodium canned options. There are also resources for home canning:

 

Add to your favorites. Add vegetables to any of your favorite dishes. A salad compliments pizza, fresh carrots and broccoli add color to plate with pizza, and meat dishes become more interesting with a side of mixed vegetables.

 

Buy fresh in season. Buying fresh vegetables in season will provide more nutrients and will be easier on your wallet. The LaVell Edwards Stadium Farmers Market is a good option for buying local fresh vegetables in season.

 

Want more tips to help you eat fruits? Check out the PDF below!

 

 

 

 

 

Fruits

 

Why?

Fruits are important sources of dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin C and folate.

 

Fruits can be fresh, frozen, canned or dried. Canned, frozen and dried fruits are often processed during their peak, so the most nutrients are preserved. Especially when a fruit is off season, frozen, canned or dried are great options.

 

What?

Eat a variety of melons, berries, other fruits and 100% juices.

 

Melons: cantaloupe, honeydew melon, kiwano and watermelon

 

Berries: acai berries, blackberries, cranberries, currant, huckleberries, lingonberries, mulberries, raspberries, strawberries

 

Other fruits: apples, apricots, bananas, cherries, dates, figs, fruit cocktail, grapefruit, grapes, guava, kiwi, lemons, limes, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papaya, peaches, pears, persimmons, pineapple, plums, pomegranate, prunes, raisins, star fruit, tangerines

 

100% Juices: apple, cranberry, grape (red or white), grapefruit, mango, orange, papaya, pineapple, pomegranate, prunes

 

Tips:

-Make it accessible. Clean and prepare fruit in advance so you can easily access it on-the-go.

 

-Buy a variety. Don't limit yourself to fresh fruit. Eat a variety of fresh, frozen, canned, and dried to get your nutrients on or off season.

 

-Choose whole or cut over juice. Choose whole, cut, frozen, canned, or dried more often instead of fruit juices.

 

-Healthy snacks! Apples, oranges, bananas, and peaches are easy to carry and eat while you are away from home. Take them as a snack during the week.

 

-Add it. Fruit is great at breakfast, as part of a healthy snack, or on the side of the favorite meals. Use it to accent your meals and snacks.

 

-Fruit for dessert! Eat fruit with a dip, dressing or yogurt for dessert. You can also use them as a topping on your favorite desserts.

 

-Buy fresh in season. Buying fresh vegetables in season will provide more nutrients and will be easier on your wallet. The LaVell Edwards Stadium Farmer's Market is a good option for buying local fresh vegetables in season.

 

Want more tips to help you eat fruits? Check out the PDF below!

 

 

 

 

Grains

 

Why?

Grains provide dietary fiber, B vitamins (folate, niacin, riboflavin and thiamin), iron, magnesium, and selenium.

 

Fiber = Dietary Fiber + Functional Fiber

 

Dietary Fiber: nondigestible carbohydrates and lignin that are part of the plant structure.

 

Fuctional Fiber: isolated nondigestible carbohydrates that are beneficial to humans.

 

What?

There are whole or refined grains. Whole grains have just that—the whole grain. They include the bran, germ and endosperm. If a grain is refined, the bran and germ have been removed. The label “enriched” means that B vitamins and iron have been added back in, but fiber is not added.

 

Whole grains: whole wheat flour, oatmeal, whole cornmeal, brown rice, bulgur

 

Refined grains: white flour, de-germed cornmeal, white bread, white rice

 

Watch out! Statements such as “multi-grain,” stone-ground,” “100% wheat,” “cracked wheat,” “seven-grain,” and “bran” are NOT whole grain. Look for these whole grain products: brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, oatmeal, popcorn, quinoa, rolled oats, whole-grain barley, whole-grain corn, whole oats, whole rye, whole wheat, and wild rice.

 

Tips:

-Make half your grains whole. Choose whole wheat tortillas, pastas, or breads more often.

 

-Try new grain products. There are a wide variety of grains out there. Try barley, quinoa, or bulgur in a new recipe or to replace rice in a favorite recipe.

 

-Add it. Add whole grains to soups or mixed dishes to add bulk and nutrients.

 

-Skip the butter and salt. Have popcorn with little or no added salt or butter. It’s actually a great option from the Grains Group.

 

-Leave added sugars behind. Choose grains without added sugars.

 

Want more tips to help you eat grains? Check out the PDF below!

 

 

 

 

Protein

 

Why?

Foods in the Protein Group are important sources of protein, B vitamins (B6, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin), vitamin E, iron, zinc, and magnesium. Some seafood also provide omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA.

 

What?

The Protein Foods Group is made up of plant and animal sources. To have a healthy lifestyle, eat a variety of foods from both sources. Avoid protein sources high in saturated fats because they will increase bad cholesterol, which increases your risk for heart disease. The following foods are high in saturated fats: fatty cuts of beef, pork, lamb, ground beef, reg. sausage, hot dogs, bacon, luncheon meats like bologna salami, duck.

 

Beans and peas: black beans, black-eyed peas, chickpeas or garbanzo beans (mashed as falafel), edamame, hummus, kidney beans, lentils, lima beans, navy beans, pinto beans, soy beans, split peas, and white beans.

Beans and peas are unique. They are a subgroup of the plant OR protein group. Generally, if you eat meat, poultry and fish, then count beans and peas as vegetables. If you are vegetarian, then count them as protein.

 

Nuts and seeds: almonds, cashews, chia seeds, hazelnuts, nut butters, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, and walnuts

 

Seafood:

-Canned: anchovies, sardines, and tuna

 

-Finfish: catfish, cod, flounder, halibut, herring, mackerel (Atlantic and Pacific, king mackerel is high in mercury), Pollock, salmon, sea bass, snapper, sushi, swordfish, tilapia, trout*, and tuna

 

-Shellfish: clams, crab, crayfish, lobster, mussels, octopus, oysters (Atlantic, Pacific, etc.), scallops, shrimp, and squid

 

Meats and poultry: beef, bison, pork, rabbit, and venison

Lean cuts of beef: round steaks, roasts, top loin, top sirloin, chuck shoulder, arm roasts

Lean pork: pork loin, tenderloin, center loin, ham

 

-Poultry: chicken, duck, goose, turkey

 

-Eggs: chicken and duck

 

Soy products: tempeh, texturized vegetable protein (TVP), tofu

 

Want some tips to help you eat proteins? Check out the PDF below!

 

 

 

 

Dairy

 

 

Why?

Foods in the Dairy Group provide protein, calcium, potassium, and vitamin D. Calcium and vitamin D are both critical for building bones and maintaining bone mass. Adequate intakes of both of these nutrients help prevent osteoporosis.

 

Intolerance vs. Allergy

 A food intolerance is related to digestive issues, such as the lack of an enzyme to break down a food. A food allergy, however, causes an immune response. The immune response can be minor with little noticeable symptoms or life-threatening. Whether you are lactose intolerant or allergic to milk, there are options to provide your body with the nutrients you need!

 

Rounded Rectangle: Protein provides energy and is important for building bones, muscle, skin, blood, enzymes, hormones, and vitamins.   Calcium plays a vital role in building and maintaining bone mass and building teeth.  Potassium helps regulate blood pressure which leads to a healthy heart. Dairy food high in potassium are yogurt, milk, and soymilk.  Vitamin D helps build and maintain bone mass by regulating calcium and phosphorus levels. Milk and soymilk are fortified with vitamin D.

What?

Dairy foods include all of the following:

 

-Milk: whole, low-fat or 1%, or skim, flavored

 

-Cheese: American, brie, camembert, cheddar, cheese spreads, cottage cheese, feta, Gouda, mozzarella, Muenster, parmesan, provolone, ricotta, Romano, and Swiss

 

-Milk based desserts: ice cream, pudding, and frozen yogurt

Milk based desserts will give some benefits of the Dairy Group but at the cost of saturated fats and added sugars. Keep in mind the limits of 20 g saturated fat and 50 g added sugars when you choose these options.

 

-Non-Dairy Alternatives: almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, and soymilk

Check the label for calcium-fortified options

 

-Yogurt: whole milk, reduced fat, low fat, fat-free, kefir, and soy yogurt

 

Although cream cheese, cream, and butter are made from milk, they are not considered dairy because they don’t retain their calcium content.

 

How to Get Adequate Dairy:

 

-Choose lower fat options. Select dairy options that are lower in fat more often. Switch to low fat (1% milk) for cereal or low fat yogurt for a snack.

 

-Add it. Switch out a sugar-sweetened beverage for low fat milk. Try yogurt with fruit or nuts as a snack or side.

 

-Dairy for Dessert. While there are milk based desserts, you can also choose other dairy products for dessert. Try a fruit parfait, milk with frozen berries, or pudding made with low-fat milk.

 

 

Want some tips to help you eat proteins? Check out the PDF below!

 

 

 


BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY | BYU DINING SERVICES