Healthy nutrition is the key to optimizing your health! With a lot of information out there about nutrition, it can be confusing to know what the healthy options are. MyPlate.gov is a good resource for those looking for more information about the different food groups. Not only does MyPlate.gov go into detail about the food groups, but you can also view basic recommendations on what a serving size is for foods within each food group.
General food group basics include:
Eat 2 cups of fruit per day. Whole fruits that are fresh, frozen, or canned are the best options because they contain healthy nutrients and fiber which can help us feel fuller, longer.
Eat 2½ cups of vegetables each day. Aim to incorporate a variety of colors to your meals and snacks as they contain different nutrients that our bodies need to function optimally.
Eat 6 ounces of grains per day. Plan your meals and snacks to include half of your grains as whole grains. Some examples of whole-grain options include quinoa, whole wheat tortillas, barley, oatmeal, whole-wheat crackers, bread, or pasta.
Eat 5½ ounces of protein daily. Choose a variety of lean protein sources such as poultry, seafood, eggs, beans, peas, and lentils. Limit red meat consumption to twice per week.
Eat 3 cups of dairy each per day. Move to eat more low-fat or fat-free options rather than full-fat options. Dairy includes milk, yogurt, and cheese.
Getting all the recommended amounts into your daily nutrition can seem overwhelming! Take some time to think ahead so that you can plan these basics into your meals and snacks. For example, one meal idea could be an omelet with vegetables, a piece of whole wheat toast, and 1 cup of milk. This meal alone includes four of the five food groups! Check out MyPlate.gov for detailed information on each food group and recipe ideas.
By Coach Sarah