The typical American eats 59% of the amount of vegetables recommended in updated dietary guidelines released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in 2011. The good news is that the goal of 100% is within reach for most of us. The guidelines, which are accompanied by a new food guide icon, say we should focus on more dark green, red, and orange vegetables, beans, and peas.

Americans get an average of 3.5 ounces of seafood a week, but it's recommended that we more than double that to 8 ounces a week. That would be 20%, or a fifth, of the recommended weekly amount of protein foods. To do this, we should substitute one serving of seafood for one serving of meat or poultry each week.

We should eat more wild and farmed seafood -- including shellfish, such as shrimp, oysters, and crab -- but we should avoid fish with high mercury content. Four kinds of fish -- tilefish, shark, swordfish, and king mackerel -- have relatively high mercury content and should be eaten only occasionally. Pregnant women should avoid these fish (and limit white albacore tuna to 6 ounces per week).

Green peas are considered a starchy vegetable like white potatoes, and we should limit starchy vegetables. Beans and peas that are protein foods include kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), lima beans, black-eyed peas, split peas, and lentils. We should eat more of these sources of protein.

A whole grain includes the entire grain seed, or kernel. Examples of whole grains are popcorn, wild rice, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, oatmeal, quinoa, rolled oats, brown rice, and whole-grain barley, rye, and wheat. These foods may be eaten by themselves or found as ingredients in such foods as bread, cereals, and crackers. Multigrain bread usually is not 100% whole grain.

Refined grains have been milled to remove the bran and germ from the grain. This removes fiber, iron, and many B vitamins. We should replace half of the refined grains we eat with whole grains.

Many whole-grain products are good sources of dietary fiber -- but not all of them. Nutritious whole-grain foods should list a whole grain as the first or second ingredient, after water.

Cheese provides 8.5% of all the saturated fat Americans eat, and pizza is the second largest source, followed by grain-based desserts and dairy desserts. Burgers rank No. 7, behind chicken dishes and sausages/hot dogs.

Yeast breads provide 7.3% of the sodium in the average American diet. It is closely followed by chicken dishes, pizza, and pastas. The latest dietary guidelines recommend eating less than 2,300 milligrams of sodium daily -- and no more than 1,500 milligrams a day for anyone 51 or older, African-Americans, and people with high blood pressure, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease. About half of all Americans are in the 1,500-milligram-a-day group.

While you might think desserts and candy are the worst offenders for sugar, sweetened beverages are the No. 1 source of added sugar in the American diet, providing 35.7% of added sugars. Grain-based desserts were second (12.9%), followed by fruit drinks (10.5%), and dairy desserts (6.5%). Added sugars use up your daily allotment of calories but offer little nutrition.

Sugars that are found naturally in foods include fructose (found in fruits) and lactose (found in dairy products). But high-fructose corn syrup and liquid fructose are added sugars, as are white and brown table sugar, honey, molasses, corn syrup, maple syrup, raw sugar, and dextrose. Added sugars contribute an average of 16% of the total calories in the American diet.

A solid fat is any type of fat that is solid at room temperature. This also includes milk fat, lard, stick margarine, and shortening. While solid fats make up an average of 19% of the total calories in the American diet, they contribute few nutrients and no fiber.

U.S. guidelines recommend replacing solid fats, such as butter, with small amounts of oil. Oils such as canola, olive, corn, safflower, and sunflower should be used rather than solid fats, such as butter, stick margarine, shortening, or lard.

The people who love you want to support you. If you shut them out, they can't. If you let them in, you'll feel a lot better. Call a friend and go for a walk. Have a cup of coffee with your partner. You may find it helps to talk about your depression. It feels good to have someone listen.

Mindless eating is one major factor in eating too much. Other strategies for partygoers include eating a light meal or snack before going to a party, thinking about whether you are hungry before going back to the food table, taking only small portions of food, and concentrating on healthy food options.

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