California Walnuts and USDA's MyPlate

California Walnuts and USDA's MyPlate

The USDA's MyPlate urges Americans to take control of their health, and California Walnuts wants to help!

As a plant-based food offering a nutrient dense package, walnuts are an ideal ingredient that fit into the new USDA recommendations. Making simple food choices, like eating California walnuts, and adapting recipes can improve your eating style without compromising taste. Remember, food should be your ally in wellness, helping you feel healthier and happier.

Here are some tips incorporating the new guidelines and our health experts recommendations to help you on your path towards good nutrition:

  • Focus on including plant-based foods including vegetables, cooked dry beans and peas, fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds.
  • Walnuts, falling in the protein category of Myplate, are a great way to boost your consumption of plant-based foods.
  • Less than 10% of calories should come from saturated fatty acids with most fats coming from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids.
  • A one ounce serving of walnuts provides 18 grams of total fat of which 13 grams are PUFA and which 2.5 grams are ALA, as well as other health-promoting nutrients and bioactive components.
  • Keep salt/sodium and sugar to a minimum - instead use herbs, spices, zests and fruit juices when possible. Try to keep each meal below 600 mg of sodium and each side dish or dessert below 480 mg (consume less than 2,300 mg per day).
  • Walnuts are naturally sodium free.
  • Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.
  • Try to consume at least 7-8 grams of fiber at meals – 25-30 grams per day
  • Walnuts contain 2 grams of fiber per one ounce.
  • When possible, use whole grains in place of refined/white products.
  • Aim for 20 minutes of cooking prep-time or less.
  • No more than 6-8 ingredients should be called for - not including seasonings.
  • Recipes should maximize the use of whole foods.
  • Serving of cooked meat, fish, or poultry is the size of a deck of cards.
  • Ounce of walnuts is a handful.
  • A piece of fruit should be the size of a baseball.
  • A bagel should be the size of a hockey puck.
  • One ounce of cheese is the size of four dice.
  • A small baked potato is the size of a computer mouse.
  • The serving size for raw fruits and vegetables is one cup – which will fit into an average woman's hand.
  • Use the Portion Plate tool to help guide you.