What Dietary Pattern Do You Do?

The HealthGal Health Guide
  • If I had to describe my pattern of eating, I would say:


    Breakfast every am - A high protein nutrition bar (180 calories), apple and skim latte or 2 whole grain waffles, peanut butter, berries and skim latte
    Lunch - A huge salad, beans or fish or tofu, some fruit, iced tea
    Afternoon snack - yogurt and fruit or hard boiled egg and some veggies or hummus and veggies or a fruit and handful of nuts
    Dinner - a medium size salad, steamed vegetables, a serving of protein, some quinoa or brown rice, fruit
    On weekends I might treat myself to a healthy muffin and PB for my breakfast or have a frozen yogurt with different fruits and nuts for lunch, and occasionally I'll have a dinner treat of veggie pizza and salad. Sure occasionally there's a treat of dark chocolate or a shared dessert at a restaurant, but this is pretty much my diet outline. Austere, fresh and healthy would describe it.

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    Well the American Heart Association says that most eating habits can be categorized into five distinct patterns and can be mostly correlated to age, race, gender, and geographic living region. Researchers provided a 110 food item questionnaire to analyze the dietary patterns of over 21,000 black and white adults who were 45 years of age or older. the information extrapolated yielded 5 somewhat distinct dietary patterns.  The first dietary pattern called a "southern diet' included fried and processed meats, sugar-sweetened drinks and was most closely associated with black men living in the southeastern part of the US, who had lower incomes and less education. The "traditional diet" featured Chinese and Mexican foods, pasta dishes, pizza, soup, and frozen and take out meals. The "healthy pattern" was a diet mostly based on grains, fruits and vegetables. The "sweet pattern" was characterized by large amounts of sweet snacks and desserts. And the "alcohol pattern" included a variety of proteins, alcohol and salads.  For the record, my husband says he's a "mixed healthy/alcohol pattern" guy.


    These patterns are of interest to researchers and experts who believe that the dietary guidelines and recommendations, that are put out periodically to help Americans eat healthier foods, should focus on recommendations that take food patterns into account, rather than individual foods or individual ingredients. Looking at food patterns can also help to identify diseases that connect to certain dietary habits. The most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans, released last year, did include a section on the importance of the total diet.


    Do you fit one of these 5 dietary patterns?
    Is yours a mixture of 2?
    Let us know what you are eating!!


Published On: March 15, 2012