Friday, November 2, 2007

Healthy Dietary Food Portion Serving Sizes Guides (Grains, Vegetables & Fruits)

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables form the next layer of the pyramid. Both provide important vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Green leafy vegetables and vitamin C rich fruits had the greatest effect on anti heart disease.

Most of the news in nutrition research is about the health benefits of a group of nutrients concentrated in vegetables and fruits called antioxidants. These nutrients help minimize the normal wear and tear that comes from living and can reduce the risk of cancer and stroke as well as heart disease.

Fruits (2 to 4 servings)

serving sizeBreakfast is a good place to begin building up fruit servings. You may already start your day with a glass of juice. Add a midmorning snack of fruit and have some for dessert at lunch or dinner, and you've made your goal of three to four servings a day.

Make at least one serving each day a citrus fruit. Orange and grapefruit juice are standard options, but don't forget about the many varieties of oranges (navel, temple, Valencia, blood, and mandarin) and grapefruits (Ruby Red, white, and pink) that are available, as well as tangerines, tangelos, kumquats, and Ugh fruit, which are also considered citrus fruits. When possible, select fresh fruit in season. Instead, choosing oranges and grapefruit in winter and berries in spring, means there's a better chance that the fruit was grown locally and will end up tasting juicy and fresh.

Canned or frozen fruit can be a good substitute when a recipe or your appetite demands an out of season fruit. Be sure to reach for ones packed without added sugar.

Experiment with new fruits that you haven't tried before - figs, guava, star fruit, or prickly pears, for example.

With so many fruitfully delicious options to choose from, you'll never have to eat the same fruit twice in a week. Use these guidelines to determine serving sizes for fruits:

One whole fruit (a medium apple, banana, peach, or orange; or a small pear)

i. 1/2 grapefruit to Melon wedge (1/4 medium cantaloupe or 1/8 medium honeydew)

ii. 3/4a cup juice

iii. 1/2 cup mandarin or clementine orange sections

iv. 1/2 cup cut-up fresh fruit

v. 1/2 cup cooked or canned fruit

vi. 1/2 cup frozen fruit

vii. 1/4cup dried fruit

viii. 5 large strawberries or 7 medium strawberries

ix. 1/2 cup raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries

x. 11 large cherries

xi. 12 grapes

xii. 11/2 medium plums

xiii. 2 medium apricots or clementines

xiv. 1/8 medium avocado (but beware of its high fat content!)

xv. 7 melon balls (or %z cup melon)

xvi. 1/2 cup fruit salad (made without mayonnaise)

xvii. 1/2 medium mango

xviii. 1/4 medium papaya

xix. 1 large kiwi fruit

xx. 4 canned apricot halves, drained 14 canned cherries, drained

xxi. 11/2 canned peach halves, drained 2 canned pear halves, drained

xxii. 21/2 canned pineapple slices, drained 3 canned plums, drained

xxiii. 9 dried apricot halves

xxiv. 5 prunes

Vegetables (3 to 5 servings)

fruitsIf it weren't for French-fried potatoes and tomato sauce on pizza and pasta, many people wouldn't get any vegetables at all. Too bad, because vegetables are mostly water, so they're a great way for dieters to expand their meals. Vegetables are a great source of vitamin C, foliate, beta carotene, minerals, and fiber - and practically no fat.

Use these guidelines to determine serving sizes for vegetables:

i. 1/2 cup vegetables, cooked or chopped raw

ii. 1 cup leafy raw vegetables, such as lettuce or spinach

iii. 1 medium tomato or 5 cherry tomatoes

iv. Seven to eight 21/2-inch carrot or celery sticks

v. 3 broccoli florets

vi. 1/3 medium cucumber

vii. 10 medium green onions

viii. 13 medium radishes

ix. 9 snow or sugar peas

x. 6 slices summer squash (yellow or zucchini)

xi. 1 cup mixed green salad

xii. 1/2 cup cole slaw or potato salad

xiii. 1/2 cup leafy cooked greens, such as kale, Swiss chard, or spinach v

xiv. 2 spears broccoli

xv. 1 medium whole green or red pepper, or 8 rings

xvi. 1 artichoke

xvii. 6 asparagus spears

xviii. 2 whole beets, about 2 inches in diameter

xix. 4 medium Brussels sprouts

xx. 1 medium ear of corn

xxi. 7 medium mushrooms

xxii. 8 okra pods

xxiii. 1 medium whole onion or 6 pearl onions

xxiv. 1 medium whole turnip

xxv. 10 French fries

xxvi. 1 medium baked potato

xxvii. 3/4 cup sweet potato

xxviii. 1/2 cup tomato or spaghetti sauce

xxix. 1/4 cup tomato paste

xxx. 1/2 cup cooked dry beans (if not counted as a meat alternate)

xxxi. 3/4 cup vegetable juice

xxxii. 1 cup bean soup

xxxiii. 1 cup vegetable soup

Some vegetables are "starchy" and calorie dense; others are mostly water. If you're watching your weight, limit your starchy vegetables to one or two servings per day, and make the remainder of your veggie servings nonstarchy.

Nonstarchy Vegetables

Starchy Vegetables




Cassava (yuca)

Brussels sprouts



Lima Beans










Sweet Potatoes



Green beans


Greens (such as collard, kale, mustard and turnip)

Winter squash









Grains (6 to 11 servings)

Grains form the foundation of eating healthfully; they're low in fat and provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber. This group is the source of complex carbohydrates in your diet. But eating too many calories without getting beneficial nutrients is also common.

It's true that croissants, donuts, cookies, muffins, cake, and other high fat and sugar items are in this group because they can fit into a healthy diet - just not everyday and probably not more than once a week if you're trying to lose weight. Because they provide more calories than nutrients, keep them to a minimum. The healthier choice is anything whole grain in a reasonable portion.

Make sure that at least three of your grain servings each day are whole grains - whole-wheat bread or cereal, for example. Use the ingredient labels to find the products with whole grains: You want whole wheat or other whole grain to be the first ingredient. Sugar, oil, and fats should be last on the list, if they appear at all.

Serving sizes for grains include the following:

a) 4-inch pima bread (white or wheat)

b) 1/16 of a two-layer cake

c) 2 to 3 large crackers (graham cracker square size)

d) 1/2 cup cooked cereal, pasta, or rice

e) 3 rice or popcorn cakes

f) 12 tortilla chips

g) 3 medium hard breadsticks, about 43/n inches long

h) One 7-inch flour or corn tortilla

i) 2 corn taco shells

j) Nine 3-ring pretzels or 2 pretzel rods

k) 1/5 of a 10-inch angel food cake

l) 9 animal crackers

m) 1 slice of bread

n) Half a hamburger or hot dog bun

o) Half an English muffin or a 21/2-inch bagel

p) 1 small roll, biscuit, or muffin (about 1 ounce each)

q) 1 ounce ready-to-eat cereal V 5 to 6 small crackers (saltine size)

r) 2 cups air-popped popcorn

Remember, some of the foods in the various groups may be higher in fat or added sugars than others, so when you're watching calories, focus on the lower-fat options that contain less added sugar.

Fiber comes from the grains group, the fruit and vegetable group, legumes in the meat group and from nuts. Essentially, fiber is a carbohydrate that can't be digested. A healthy diet has 25 to 35 grams each day. High-fiber diets are associated with less heart disease and diabetes.

... andjoyohoxing