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The Perfect Food Day if You Follow the New USDA Nutrition Guidelines

Today, the USDA and HHS released the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. For the most part, their recommendations are exactly what we've been preaching for some time: more fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, fewer animal products. They made news with two recommendations: a sugar cap and a lift on the cholesterol limit (Yay! Eggs are good for you again!).

Because we have espoused many of these healthy-eating guidelines for quite some time, we have an entire arsenal of recipes ready to fuel curious eaters looking to balance their plates while still enjoying their favorite foods. Take a look at what a healthy, delicious day would look like if you following the new USDA nutrition guidelines.

Breakfast: Fried Egg and Crunchy Breadcrumb Breakfast Salad: Instead of thinking of breakfast as an obligation, consider it an opportunity, one that sets you up for healthy success the rest of the day. A well-composed breakfast salad can deliver 20% of your daily protein, 2 to 3 servings of fruits or veggies, a serving of whole grains, and as much as 10 grams of fiber--all before 9 a.m.
Serves 1
Calories 250; Fat 18.9g (sat 3.5g, mono 11.7g, poly 2.5g); Protein 9g; Carb 14g; Fiber 5g; Sugars 2g (est. added sugars 0g); Chol 186mg; Iron 2mg; Sodium 389mg; Calc 163mg

Lunch: Greek Slaw and Chicken Pitas: Salads are an easy lunch option, and this quick-to-assemble sandwich is basically a salad in a whole-wheat pita, one that's full of crunchy lemon-feta Greek slaw and filling, convenient rotisserie chicken.
Serves 4 (serving size: 2 stuffed pita halves)
Calories 384; Fat 13.5g (sat 3.8g, mono 6.4, poly 2.3g); Protein 32g; Carb 36g; Fiber 5g; Sugars 4g (est. added sugars 1g); Chol 100mg; Iron 3mg; Sodium 712mg; Calc 154mg

Snack: Peppers and Spicy Eggs: Eggs are off the naughty list, which means they make a great protein-rich snack for your afternoon slump. The perfect healthy snack combines protein, a healthy fat, and fiber. If you're looking for another option, check out our all-new Protein-Packed Snacks.
Serves 1
Calories 96; Fat 5g (sat 1.6g); Protein 7g; Fiber 2g; Sugars 3g (est. added sugars 0g); Sodium 219mg

Dinner: Veggie-Packed Bolognese: The guidelines emphasize a switch from meat-focused plates to plant-focused ones. Start this flip to more plants and less meat with one of our favorite pasta dish makeovers. We pack plenty of veggies into the base of this bolognese disguised as "boodles" (butternut noodles), intertwined with whole-grain pasta. The meaty texture and nutty flavor from the walnuts is downright addictive. Serve with a big plate of greens and veggies with a simple vinaigrette (skip the bottled stuff which is often loaded with added sugars and salt).
Serves 4 (serving size: about 1 1/4 cups pasta mixture, 1 cup sauce, and 1 tablespoon cheese)
Calories 448; Fat 17.5g (sat 3.9g, mono 5.5g, poly 6g); Protein 24g; Carb 54g; Fiber 10g; Sugars 14g (est. added sugars 2g); Chol 32mg; Iron 12mg; Sodium 573mg; Calc 210mg

Dessert: Chocolate Stout Brownies: There's still room for sweets in your diet. You just have to be smart about your sugar allowance. The typical brownie has nearly 20g sugar--masking the flavor of the chocolate in an overwhelming wave of sweetness. With these brownies, we cut sugar in half for a richer, denser brownie that truly satisfies.
Serves 16 (serving size: 1 square)
Calories 131; Fat 8.5g (sat 4g, mono 3.1g, poly 0.8g); Protein 2g; Carb 12g; Fiber 1g; Sugars 8g (est. added sugars 8g); Chol 31mg; Iron 1mg; Sodium 68mg; Calc 14mg

With these dishes, your daily counts equal 1,961mg sodium and just 11g added sugar! You've even got a little room to add  a serving of fruit or some whole-grain pretzels with your lunch and a glass of wine at dinner! That's a lot of healthy, filling food for your nutritional buck.

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