It is understandable why many of us Oklahomans are obese when you look at the typical eating patterns we have been raised on. We love our fried chicken, mashed potatoes with gravy, fried okra, cornbread, sweet tea, etc. Have you ever ordered a chicken fried steak in any other state? No other state compares to the chicken fry that is readily available in the Sooner state. Have you ever visited a Chinese food buffet in Oklahoma? These buffets overflow with garlic fried chicken, fried pork, fried shrimp, fried rice, and copious amounts of gravies and sweet sauces. These Chinese restaurant owners know what their Okie customers want or like and adapt the menu accordingly. Yet when these Asian restaurant owners feed their own families the food typically does not resemble the buffet line. They eat fresh vegetables, fruits, steamed rice and lean meats. Is it any wonder the obesity rate among Americans of Asian descent is around 10% (Obesity rates for the rest of the ethnic groups in America range from 33%-48%).
So what exactly is a healthy eating pattern? A healthy eating pattern consists of all foods and drinks that a person consumes over time. Eating patterns are adaptable to a person’s taste preferences, culture, traditions, and budget. A healthy eating pattern should include a variety of nutritious foods like vegetables, fruits, grains, low-fat and fat-free dairy, lean meats and other protein foods, and oils; and should limit saturated fats, trans fats, added sugars, and sodium.
The path to improving health through nutrition is to follow a healthy eating pattern that is right for you. A healthy eating pattern can be maintained over a person’s lifetime and, at appropriate calorie levels, promotes health and supports a healthy body weight. You can include many of the foods that you enjoy in a healthy eating pattern.
The guideline recognizes more than 1 healthy eating pattern and gives 3 different examples and advice on amounts of food required for individuals.
Healthy US-Style Eating Pattern
Healthy Mediterranean-Style Eating Pattern
Healthy Vegetarian Eating Pattern
Calorie recommendations based on age, sex, and activity level.
The key to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight isn't short-term dietary changes; it's about a lifestyle that includes healthy eating patterns and regular physical activity. If you need help getting started and you are in Oklahoma City OK call Stover PT, we would be glad to give you an individually tailored fitness program.