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The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 (DG 2020) has been published, with familiar recommendations for “what to eat and drink to promote health, reduce risk of chronic disease, and meet nutrient needs:” Eat “healthy” (nutrient dense, low-fat, low-sugar) food, limit “unhealthy” food (added sugar, salt, saturated fat), don’t eat too much.

Even though the Satter Eating Competence Model doesn’t say what and how much to eat, being Eating Competent lets you comfortably and joyfully follow the Dietary Guidelines. Here is how: 

  1. Take time to eat. Have family meals and snacks between times made up of foods you enjoy and give yourself permission to eat.
  2. Eat food you enjoy. Use fat, sugar, and salt to make food tasty and rewarding. You will eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein foods because you enjoy them, not because you have You will also eat less sugar, salt, and fat.
  3. Trust yourself to learn and grow. When your basic food needs are satisfied, you tire of even favorite food and seek variety, which is the basis for a nutritionally excellent diet.
  4. Include your sugary beverages and “forbidden foods” at meals and snacks. Compared with munching and sipping along, you will consume less fat and sugar (and be kind to your teeth). Regularly including sugary, fatty foods at regular meals and snacks makes them less alluring and in the long run you consume less.
  5. Eat less saturated fat by using a variety of fats: margarine and mayonnaise; olive, canola oil, corn, or soybean oil along with butter, cream and gravy and butterfat in whole milk and cheese.
  6. Let your body weigh what it wants to weigh. Evidence shows that weight stability supports health; Weight yo-yoing doesn’t.

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