|What is a healthy diet?
The basis of a healthy diet is eating a wide variety of foods. Every day, you should try to eat:*
6 to 11 servings of bread, cereal, rice, or pasta. One serving equals one slice of bread, about 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal, or 1/2 cup cooked cereal, rice, or pasta.
3 to 5 servings of vegetables. One serving equals 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables, or 1/2 cup of other vegetables, cooked or raw.
2 to 4 servings of fruit. One serving equals one medium apple, banana, or orange; 1/2 cup of chopped, cooked, or canned fruit; or 3/4 cup of fruit juice.
2 to 3 servings of milk, yogurt, or cheese. One serving equals 1 cup of milk or yogurt, 1 1/2 ounces of natural cheese (such as Cheddar), or 2 ounces of processed cheese (such as American). Choose low-fat or fat-free products most often.
2 to 3 servings of meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, or nuts. One serving equals 2 to 3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry without skin, or fish. You should eat no more than 5 to 7 ounces per day. One half cup of cooked dry beans, one egg, or 1/2 cup of tofu counts as 1 ounce of meat. Two tablespoons of peanut butter or 1/3 cup of nuts counts as 1 ounce of lean meat.
The larger number of servings is for active men. Eat a smaller number of servings if you are a woman, inactive, or trying to lose weight.
* Servings and serving sizes are from the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Department of Health and Human Services Food Guide Pyramid
You can not always measure your food. Here are some ways to help you estimate serving sizes.
1/2 cup of rice or pasta = size of ice cream scoop
1 cup of salad greens = size of a baseball
1/2 cup of chopped fruit or vegetables = size of a lightbulb
1 1/2 ounces of cheese = size of four dice
3 ounces of meat or fish = size of a deck of cards or cassette tape
2 tablespoons peanut butter = size of a ping pong ball
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|Tips for healthy eating
- Eat breakfast every day. People who eat breakfast are less likely to overeat later in the day. Breakfast also gives you energy and helps you think and learn.
- Choose whole grains more often. Try whole wheat breads and pastas, oatmeal, brown rice, or bulgur.
- Select a mix of colorful vegetables each day. Different colored vegetables provide different nutrients. Choose dark, leafy greens such as kale, collards, and mustard greens, and r