Eat Healthy

General Nutrition Recommendations

Eating healthy foods, combined with regular physical activity, can reduce your risks of high blood pressure, obesity and heart attack later in life. (Regular physical activity is any number of activities that are done throughout the day for a total of 30 minutes.) Recommendations for Vegan or Vegetarian Diets>>

Recommended Serving Sizes:

Bread, Cereal, Rice, & Pasta Group 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal 1 Slice of bread ½ cup of cooked rice or pasta ½ cup of cooked cereal
Vegetable Group 1 cup of chopped raw or cooked vegetables 1 cup of leafy raw vegetables    
Fruit Group
1 piece of fruit or melon wedge ¾ cup 100% fruit juice ½ cup of canned fruit in lite syrup ¼ cup of dried fruit
Milk, Yogurt & Cheese Group 1 cup of non-fat milk or yogurt 1 ½ ounces of natural cheese 2 ounces of processed cheese  
Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, & Nut Group 1 ounce of cooked lean meat, poultry or fish Count 1/4 cup of cooked beans, or 1 egg, or 1 tablespoon of peanut butter or 1/2 ounce seeds or nuts as 1 ounce of lean meat
Fats & Sweets LIMIT CALORIES FROM THESE, especially if you need to lose weight. Choose fats like corn, canola, olive, soybean and sunflower oils that remain in liquid form at room temperature. Some fats to avoid include mayonnaise, many salad dressings and margarine. Be aware of high fat foods like avocados, nuts, olives and some fish.

Recommended Amount of Food From Each Group per Day:

(Women & some children, teen girls, active teen boys & older adults, most men & active men)

  Children Women & Some Adults Teen girls, active women & most men Teen boys and active men
Calorie* Level 1000-1200 1,600 1800-2000 2,400
Grains group 3 - 4 ounces 5 oz 6 ounces 8 ounces
Vegetable group 1 - 1.5 cups 2 cups 2.5 cups 3 cups
Fruit group 1 cup 1.5 cups 1.5 - 2 cups 2 cups
Milk group 2 cups

2 cups**

3 cups**
(low or no fat)
3 cups**
(low or no fat)
Lean meat and Beans 2 - 3 ounces 5 ounces 5 - 6 ounces 6.5 ounces
* These are the calorie levels if you choose low-fat lean foods from the 5 major food groups and use foods from the fats and sweets group sparingly

** Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, teenagers, and young adults to age 24 need 3 servings.

Fats and sweets

These are foods such as salad dressings, cream, butter, margarine, sugars, soft drinks, candies, and sweet desserts. Alcoholic beverages are also part of this group. These foods provide calories but few vitamins and minerals. Most people should go easy on foods from this group, or avoid them altogether.

Some fat or sugars are in the other food groups. Remember that some foods in each groups can be high in fat and added sugars and salt. When choosing foods for a healthful diet, consider the salt, fat and added sugars in your choices from all the food groups.

To learn more about how you can make these recommendations work for you, visit ChooseMyPlate.

Find out how to include more fruits and vegetables - in all forms - into your family's meals every day. Get a list of places to find lower-cost fresh fruits and vegetables.

Learn about portion distortion.

Calculate Your BMI

Figure your Body Mass index (BMI) using your weight and height.
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