All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt. Charles Schulz
If you haven’t already, chance are you will be completing a health survey next time you enroll for your health insurance. Fail to meet the “healthy” criteria and you’ll forfeit a substantial discount. Plan on reporting your cholesterol levels, last eye exam, dental and medical check-up, weekly exercise total, daily food intake, smoking status, alcohol consumption, and recreational drug use. The one area I scored poorly on was diet – Since the 2011 demise of the food pyramid, I admit I haven’t nailed down the proper number of food group servings I should be eating. Now that I’m nutritionally savvy from my sleuthing, thought I’d share my findings with you.
The foundation of your diet should be a healthy plate, each meal (plate) should be 1/2 full of fruits and vegetables, 1/4 grains, 1/4 protein, and include a serving of low-fat dairy. Half of your grains should be whole-grains.
Servings for an average adult:
- Fruit: 3 (serving=1 cup or 1 whole piece) may be fresh, canned, frozen, or dried
- Vegetables: 3 (serving=1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables or vegetable juice, or 2 cups of raw leafy greens)
- Dairy: 3 (serving=1 cup milk/yogurt, 1.5 oz. hard cheese, ½ cup cottage cheese)
- Grains: 6 (serving=1 oz which is any of these: 1 slice of bread, 1 cup cereal, ½ cup cooked rice/pasta/cereal/oats)
- Protein: 5 oz total (serving: any of these is a 1 oz serving: ¼ cup cooked beans, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, ½ ounce of nuts or seeds)
- Oils: You are most likely to get your daily need (5 tsp) in food preparation. Only eat MUFAs – Mono-unsaturated fatty acid and PUFAs-polyunsaturated acids. Trans fat=death trap.
Sorry, there is no RDA for chips, candy, sweets, soda, sugar, or any other lusciously decedent dessert. Indulge at your own risk.
Nothing beats properly measuring your food, but considering most of us don’t carry tablespoons and measuring cups in our laptop bags, here are some visuals to help you eyeball portion sizes:
- 3 ounces of meat=deck of playing cards
- 3 oz of fish=checkbook
- 1/2 cup=tennis ball
- 1 ounce of cheese= six dice
- 1 ounce of nuts=handful
- 1 tablespoon=tip of your thumb.
- 1 bread slice=DVD
- 2 tablespoons=ping pong ball
- 1 cup=baseball
- 1 teaspoon=1 die
- 1/4 cup=golf ball
More information on MyPlate: