Good Food Choices and Balancing Your Plate

Image    We want foods that will help us balance our blood sugar through the day proteins, veggies, fruits, good fats and grains.  We should try and eat small meals 5-6 times daily to help maintain blood sugar.

So what are some good examples of these foods:

Protein:  serving size is 3 oz and 1 serving is approximately 150 calories

Eggs (2 whole), Fish (3 oz), Poultry , Cottage Cheese (3/4 cup), Ricotta (1/2 cup), Mozzarella (2oz)

Vegetables:  serving size is ½ cup.  1 serving is approximately 10-25 calories

Category 1 veggies: servings unlimited

Artichokes, Asparagus, Bamboo Shoots, Bean Sprouts, Bell or other peppers, Broccoli, , Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage (all types), Cauliflower, Celery, Chives, Onion, Leeks, Garlic, Cucumber/Dill Pickles, Eggplant, Green Beans, Greens such as bok choy, escarole, swiss chard, kale, collard greens, spinach, dandelion, mustard or beet greens, Lettuce/Mixed greens: romaine, red and green leaf, endive, spinach, arugula, radicchio, watercress, chicory, mushrooms, okra, radishes, salsa (sugar free), snow peas, sprouts, tomatoes, water chestnuts, zucchini

Category 2 veggies: serving size ½ cup. 1 serving is approximately 45 calories

Beets, Winter Squash, Carrots (1/2 cup cooked, 2 med raw, or 12 baby carrots), Sweet Potatoes or yams, ½ medium baked

Dairy: serving size is 6 oz. 1 serving is approximately 80 calories

Buttermilk, Fat-Free Yogurt (plain), Lowfat yogurt (plain, 4 oz), milk

Fruit: 1 serving is approximately 80 calories

Apple (1 med), Apricots (3 med), Avocado (1/4), Berries: blackberries and blueberries (1 cup) raspberries and strawberries (1 ½ cup), cantaloupe (1/2 med), cherries (15), fresh figs (2), Grapefruit (1), grapes (15), honeydew (1/4 small), Nectarines (2 small), olives (8-10 med), orange (1 large), peaches (2 small), pear (1 med), plums (2 small), tangerines (2 small)

Grains: serving size is ½ cup cooked.  1 serving is approximately 75-100 calories

Armaranth, teff or quinoa, basmati or other brown rice, wild rice, barley, buckwheat groats or millet, bulgar (cracked wheat), whole oats, raw (1/3 cup; cooked ¾ cup), whole wheat, spelt, or kamut pasta, whole grain rye crackers (3 each), bread: mixed whole grain or 100% whole rye (1 slice), whole wheat tortilla or pita (1/2)

Legumes: serving size is ½ cup cooked.  1 serving is approximately 110 calories

Beans, garbanzo, pinto, kidney, black, lima, cannellini, navy, mung, fat-free refried, green soy beans, bean soups (3/4 cup), hummus, ¼ cup, split peas, sweet green peas, lentils.

Nuts and Seeds: 1 serving is approximately 100 calories

Almonds or hazelnuts (10-12 whole nuts), walnut or pecan halves (7-8), Peanuts (18 or 2 tbsp), pistachios, sunflower, pumpkin or sesame seeds (2 tbsp), nut butter (1 tbsp)

Oils: serving size is 1 tsp. Oils should be coldpressed. 1 serving is approximately 40 calories

Flaxseed oil, walnut oil, extra virgin olive oil and canola oil for cooking, mayonnaise (from canola oil)

Water is also an important nutrient, try to drink ½ of your body weight in ounces per day.

Finding a healthy balance of protein, carbohydrate and fat can be easy.  Divide your plate into 3 sections: 50% veggies and salad, 25% mixed whole grains or starch, and 25% is protein source – poultry, fish, beans, or soy products.

Next Week: How to find the right number of calories for you and the number of servings for each food group

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