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Eat Right for Healthy Living

Diet Tips - Plate Method

When trying to eat healthy, choose the appropriate amounts of foods from all of the food groups. But how much is an appropriate amount?

First think about how much food you normally eat. How big was the baked potato you ate for dinner? How much meat do you regularly consume? What size were the pancakes at breakfast? These food choices are not “bad” but they can become unhealthy if we eat them in excess. Since every food could be included in a well-balanced meal plan, we need to learn to control the portion.

Portion Tips
There is a way to “eyeball” portions without actually weighing and measuring foods. Just compare food to everyday items so you can better visualize the size.  The following are examples that you can use to accurately portion your food: These are recommended serving sizes for adults.

1 Pancake = a CD (compact disc)
1 Baked Potato = a woman’s fist
1/2 cup Fruit = 7 cotton balls
1 piece of Fresh Fruit = a tennis ball
1/2 cup Broccoli, cooked = a light bulb
1 oz Cheese = 4 stacked dice or a thumb
1 1/2 oz Cheese = 9 volt battery
3 oz Meat, boneless, cooked = a deck of cards or a woman’s palm
3 oz Fish = a checkbook
1 oz Nuts = 1 small handful
Plate Tip:
3/4 of the plate should be complex carbohydrates, which include whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
1/4 of the plate should be made of lean protein.

Other ways to control your portions

  • If you don’t feel comfortable “eyeballing” your food, buy pre-portioned items, such as individual bags of food and snacks. If you have to buy something in bulk, separate it into single servings and store it that way, so when you’re in a hurry, you can just grab and go.
  • If the never-ending chips and salsa or bread and butter cause you to overeat, then ask the waiter not to bring them to the table.
  • Most plates in restaurants have enough servings to feed three or four people, so ask the waiter to box half of your meal before it even gets to the table. That way you are less likely to eat too much.
  • Add regular physical activity and you have a prescription for healthy living. Happy-Healthy Living!

Recommended Daily Servings
For the average woman following a 1600-caloire diet are:

  • 6 servings of Grains (1 slice of bread, 1/2 cup potatoes)
  • 7 servings of Vegetables (1/2 cup cooked, 1 cup raw)
  • 7 servings of Protein (1 egg, 1 oz meat, 3 shrimp)
  • 2 servings of Fruit (1/2 cup sliced oranges, 1 cup berries)
  • 3 servings of Dairy (1 cup skim milk, 6oz nonfat yogurt).

Serving sizes for food choices that include added fats, sugar and simple carbohydrates may be smaller than choices that include complex carbohydrates and no added fat or sugar.

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