It's easy to eat right. Just follow the guidelines of the Food Guide Pyramid to guarantee a healthy, balanced, and tasty diet.
Fats, Oils, and Sweets:
Fats, Oils, and Sweets:Use Sparingly
These foods provide calories, but little else nutritionally. Exceptions are vegetable oil, which is a rich source of vitamin E (1 tablespoon is all you need), and molasses, an excellent source of iron.
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts:
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, and Nuts:2-3 Servings
Animal foods are excellent sources of protein, iron, zinc, and B vitamins, as are beans, nuts, and seeds. Tofu (made from soybeans) and white beans also supply calcium. Some seeds, like almonds, are good sources of vitamin E.
1 serving = 2-3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish; 1 egg; 1/2 cup cooked beans; 2 tablespoons seeds and nuts.
Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese:
Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese:2-4 Servings
Milk products are the richest sources of calcium. They also provide protein and vitamin B12. Choose low-fat varieties to keep calories, cholesterol, and saturated fat at a minimum.
1 serving = 1 cup of milk or yogurt, 1-1/2 ounces of cheese.
Fruits are rich sources of vitamins, most notably vitamin C. They are low in fat and calories. Select fresh fruits and fruit juices, and frozen, canned, or dried fruits. Avoid fruit processed with heavy syrups and sugar-sweetened juices.
1 serving = 1 medium apple, banana, or orange; 1 melon wedge; 1/2 cup of chopped fruit or berries; 3/4 cup fruit juice.
Vegetables provide vitamins (especially A and C), are excellent sources of fiber, and are naturally low in fat. For maximum nutrients, select dark leafy greens, deep-yellow or orange vegetables, and starchy vegetables like potatoes and yams.
1 serving = 1 cup raw leafy greens; 1/2 cup other vegetables chopped; 3/4 cup vegetable juice.
Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta:
Bread, Cereal, Rice, and Pasta:6-11 Servings
These foods provide complex carbohydrates, and important source of energy. They also provide B vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Starchy foods are not fattening if you don't add butter, cheese, or cream sauces. Select whole-grain products to maximize fiber and other nutrients.
1 serving = 1 slice of bread; 1 ounce of ready-to-eat cereal; 1/2 cup cooked cereal, rice or pasta.
(Source: Natural Health Magazine)