To achieve a healthy diet it is important to eat a broad range of foods across all the food groups. According to the ‘American guide to healthy eating’ the number of daily servings required from each food group can be roughly broken down into:
- Carbohydrates: 6 – 8;
- Protein: 1 – 2;
- Fats: 1;
- Dairy: 2 – 3;
- Fruit: 2;
- Vegetables: 5;
- Water: 6.
The next question is then, what constitutes a serving of each food group? The best way to get a feel for this is to look at various examples that constitute a serving.
A serving of carbohydrates should contain about 15 grams of carbohydrates. Examples of this include:
- Bread 1 slice;
- Tortilla, roll, or muffin 1;
- Bagel, English muffin or hamburger bun 1/2;
- Rice, pasta, cooked cereal, grits 1/2 cup;
- Ready-to-eat cereal 3/4 cup (flakes or round);
- Pancake, waffle 1 (12cm diameter).
A serving of fruit should contain about 15 grams of carbohydrates. Examples of this include:
- Chopped, fresh fruit 1/2 cup;
- Grapefruit 1/2;
- Cantaloupe 1/4;
- Canned fruit 1/2 cup;
- 100% fruit juice 3/4 cup;
- Raisins or dried fruit 1/4 cup.
A serving of vegetables should contain about 5 grams of carbohydrates. Examples of this include:
- Cooked vegetables 1/2 cup;
- Chopped, raw vegetables 1/2 cup;
- Raw, leafy vegetables 1 cup;
- Vegetable juice 3/4 cup.
A serving of protein should contain about 15 grams of protein. Examples of this include:
- Cooked lean meat, fish or poultry 60 – 90 grams;
- Egg 1;
- Peanut Butter 2 tablespoons, 30 grams;
- Cooked dried peas or beans 1/2 cup;
- Cooked dried beans 1/2cup;
- Nuts, seeds 1/3 cup.
A serving of daily should contain about 300mg of calcium. Examples of this include:
- Milk 1 cup;
- Yogurt 1 cup;
- Cheese 1 slice 30 grams;
- Cottage cheese 1/2 cup;
- Pudding 1/2 cup;
- Ice cream 1/2 cup.
A serving of fat should contain about 5 grams of fat. Examples of this include:
- 1 tsp vegetable oil;
- 1 tsp butter;
- 1 tsp peanut butter;
- 8 ripe olives;
- 1 tbsp salad dressing.
- 1 Glass of water
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