A balanced diet should include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy. Varying the color and types of foods in your diet will ensure that you are getting all of the nutrients that you need to stay healthy.
An easy way to add color to your diet is to include a variety of fruits and vegetables. Produce tastes best and has the most nutrients when it is in season, and most of these foods are low-calorie, low-fat, and low-sodium.
|Green||Avocado, apples, grapes, honeydew, kiwi||Asparagus, broccoli, green peppers, leafy greens|
|Orange and deep yellow||Apricot, cantaloupe, mango, pineapple||Carrots, yellow pepper, sweet potatoes, butternut squash|
|Purple and blue||Blackberries, blueberries, plums, raisins||Eggplant, purple cabbage, purple-fleshed potato|
|Red||Cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, strawberries||Beets, red peppers, rhubarb, tomatoes|
|White, tan, and brown||Banana, brown pear, dates, white peaches||Cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, turnips, white corn|
If you are ready to brighten your next meal, then here are some quick tips.
|Orange and deep yellow|
|Purple and blue|
|White, tan, and brown|
Some sources for fresh, colorful foods include:
Choose My Plate—US Department of Agriculture
Eat Right—Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Dairy. US Department of Agriculture Choose My Plate website. Available at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/dairy.html. Updated July 29, 2016. Accessed May 2, 2017.
Dietary guidelines for Americans 2015-2020. US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/. Accessed May 2, 2017.
Fruits. US Department of Agriculture Choose My Plate website website. Available at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/fruits.html. Accessed May 2, 2017.
Grains. US Department of Agriculture Choose My Plate website. Available at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/grains.html. Updated October 18, 2016. Accessed May 2, 2017.
Protein foods. US Department of Agriculture Choose My Plate website. Available at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/protein-foods.html. Updated July 29, 2016. Accessed May 2, 2017.
Vegetables. US Department of Agriculture Choose My Plate website. Available at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/vegetables.html. Updated April 5, 2017. Accessed May 2, 2017.
Last reviewed May 2017 by Michael Woods, MD, FAAP
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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