While GoHealth encourages healthy eating habits, we do recognize that maintaining a well balanced diet can seem overwhelming, especially if you are trying to feed a family. However, armed with accurate information, it can be easy to provide your family with the recommended serving amounts for the different food groups.
The New Food Pyramid
Recognizing that the food pyramid could be difficult to understand, last year the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) retired the longstanding symbol of nutritional balance with a new graphic. MyPlate is based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and was designed to present the basic food groups via a simple layout.
In line with its name, MyPlate looks like a food plate and is divided into four sections: fruits, vegetables, grains and protein. Dairy is depicted as a small circle appearing next to the plate. For the sake of convenience, MyPlate diet tips are no-brainers:
- Half of your plate should consist of fruits and vegetables
- Whole grains should comprise at least half of your grains consumption
- Drink 1% or skim milk instead of 2% or whole
- Switch up your proteins – chicken, turkey and egg whites are all high in protein and low in saturated fat
By the numbers
USDA recommends 2 cups of fruit, 2.5 cups of vegetables, 6 ounces of grains, 5.5 ounces of protein and 3 cups of dairy on a daily basis. We realize that most people do not have measuring tools at their disposal at all times, so we have a few tips to share to determine portion size:
- To reap the benefits of the high potassium levels offered by baked potatoes, choose potatoes that are the size of a computer mouse
- Whole grains will satiate your hunger in small amounts, so limit your servings of whole grains to one cup – the size of a tennis ball
- Packed with protein, three ounces of meat is the perfect amount for one serving, and is roughly equal in size to a deck of cards
- Vegetables are a crucial part of any healthy diet, and believe it or not, it only takes half a cup of cooked veggies – about the size of a baseball – to meet the requirement for a serving