Food Groups- A Refresher Course

(photo courtesy of US Dept of Agriculture)

The balance of good health starts with the basics of the food groups:

Protein

Grains

Dairy

Vegetables

Fruits

Sometimes it doesn’t even cross our minds what and how much we should be having.  Here’s a refresher for you:

(Keep in mind the recommendations depend on age and weight)

Fruits and Vegetables                                                                                               5-12 servings

Protein (Meats, Beans, Fish, Nuts)                                                                     1-2 servings

Grains                                                                                                                            5 servings 6 oz- @ least 3 whole grain

Dairy                                                                                                               3 servings- 1 cup- fat free or low-fat

Meats & Beans                                                                                             5 1/2 oz 2 or 3 servings a day- lean meat and dried beans are best

Oils and Discretionary Calories play a part in you diet as well.

Oils ————————————————6 teaspoons or less- mono and polyunsaturated oils are the best ones for you

Discretionary Calories—————————————————————– Total of 100-300 calories a day- includes sugar and fat

Quick Reference for your Plate

Think of your plates in 4 quarters

1/4 should be protein

1/4 should be whole grains

1/2 of your plate should be vegetables

Ready for dessert?   Have some fruit!

The key to getting the most balance from the food groups in your diet is following these 3 simple things:

Balance                                                                                                             Variety                                                                                                                              Portion

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