Going Green … Deliciously: Top 10 Leafy Greens

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Going Green ... Deliciously: Top 10 Leafy Greens | 31Daily.com

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Secretaries of Agriculture and Health and Human Services have unveiled New Dietary Guidelines. It differed yet again with the pyramids of the past. These New Dietary Guidelines, they say, respond to headline reports from leading scientists describing obesity as the “single greatest threat to public health in this century.”

In fact, in their press release, the USDA says it even more succinctly, “Because more than one-third of children and more than two-thirds of adults in the United States are overweight or obese, the 7th edition of Dietary Guidelines for Americans places a stronger emphasis on reducing calorie consumption and increasing physical activity.”

Okay — so bottom line – what does it mean to me and my family?

Summary: balance your calorie intake with physical activity, consume more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood — reduce sodium, saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and refined grains.

So … how much of each? Click here to download a handy printable poster that shows the now vertically inverted pyramid along with amounts of recommended daily nutritional allowances.

What caught my attention.

In the Executive Summary, under the vegetable category, they advised us to, “Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green and red and orange vegetables and beans and peas.”

And it reminded me of my child’s toddler days and how consumed I was that he eat as many vegetables as possible. He is now twelve. Does he like them … even a little better? No … but he tolerates … some of them.

Budgetary restrictions?

The US Department of Agriculture has estimated the cost of satisfying recommendations in the Dietary Guidelines. Their estimate is, “An adult on a 2,000-calorie diet could satisfy recommendations for vegetable and fruit … at an average cost of $2 to $2.50 per day, or approximately 50 cents per edible cup equivalent.”

Along that note, I came across an interesting article from WebMD entitled, “Guide to a Healthy Kitchen,” about ranking and rating our leafy greens. And when you have a child who is a picky eater or are not overly fond of vegetables yourself, it may serve well to focus on powerhouse greens.

Jill Nussinow, MS, RD, is a culinary educator in Northern California and the author of The Veggie Queen and she says, “Greens are the No. 1 food you can eat regularly to help improve your health.”

Top-10 Leafy Green list

(for more nutritional information on each vegetable along with caloric and preparation recommendations, click here).

  • Kale
  • Collards
  • Turnip greens
  • Swiss chard
  • Spinach
  • Mustard greens
  • Broccoli
  • Red and Green Leaf and Romaine Lettuce
  • Cabbage
  • Iceberg Lettuce

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