There are many ways to learn how to eat healthy. The U.S. Department of Agriculture developed the Food Guide Pyramid to help us make better food choices. The goal is to eat less meat and fat. Instead, we should eat more grains, beans, fruits and vegetables. The food pyramid offers a personal plan for everyone. You can plan a menu and learn about food groups, and there are even weight loss tips. To learn more about this Food Pyramid, go to www.ChooseMyPlate.gov.
An easy way to help you eat the right amount of food is to use the plate method. This tells you how much to eat based on how much food fits on a 9-inch plate. For meals, you should have about ¼ of your plate filled with rice, pasta, potatoes or bread, about ¼ of your plate should be a lean protein, such as meat, poultry, fish, low-fat cheese or tofu, and the rest of your plate should be filled with vegetables. Next to your plate, you might also have a cup of low-fat milk and a piece of fruit. To the left is CCS Medical’s plate method tool, so you can see how this could work for you.
Portion sizes have changed in the last 20 years. Many of the portions we eat are much bigger than what our bodies really need, and this can result in unwanted weight gain since much of the larger portions are high in fat and sugar. It is not always easy to weigh everything we eat or drink, so, you can use everyday objects as a guide. For example: 3 ounces of meat = the palm of a woman’s hand and 1 piece of fruit = 1 tennis ball.