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Good Nutrition

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How Much Should I Eat?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has developed the Food Guide Pyramid to help you make healthy food choices. There are five major food groups. Every day you should try to eat the suggested number of servings from each group. If you can’t do that, at least try to eat something from each group each day. Lower fat choices are best.
Make sure you eat vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain foods. The food groups are:

Grains—6-11 servings; one serving is:

  • One roll, slice of bread, or small muffin,
  • 1/2 bagel or English muffin,
  • 1/2 cup of cooked rice or pasta,
  • 1/2 cup of cooked cereal, or
  • about 1 cup (1 oz.) of ready-to-eat cereal.

Vegetables—3-5 servings; one serving is:

  • 1/2 cup of chopped raw or cooked vegetables, or
  • 1 cup of leafy raw vegetables.

Fruits—2-4 servings; one serving is

  • 1 medium piece of fruit or melon wedge,
  • 3/4 cup of juice,
  • 1/2 cup of canned fruit, or
  • 1/4 cup of dried fruit.

Milk, yogurt, and cheese—2-3 servings (3 for people over 50); one serving is:

  • 1 cup of milk or yogurt, or
  • 1-1/2 to 2 ounces of cheese.

One cup of soup made with milk, 1/2 cup of pudding from "scratch" or a mix, or 1 cup of cottage cheese counts as half a serving.

Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts—2-3 servings (to equal 5 to 7 ounces of lean meat, poultry, or fish); one serving is:

  • 2 to 3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish,
  • 1/2 cup of tuna fish, or
  • 1/2 cup of cooked beans or tofu, 1 egg, 1/3 cup of nuts, or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter—each of which can count as one ounce of meat.

Some other tips:

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