Before you eat, think about what goes on your plate or in your bowl. Foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy products and lean protein foods contain the nutrients you need without too many calories. Over the day, include foods from all the food groups. Try the following tips to “Get Your Plate in Shape.”
1. Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
Eat a variety of vegetables, especially dark-green, red and orange vegetables plus beans and peas. Fresh, frozen and canned vegetables all count. Choose “reduced sodium” or “no-salt-added” canned vegetables. Add fruit to meals and snacks. Buy fruits that are dried, frozen or canned in water or 100% juice, as well as fresh fruits.
2. Make at least half your grains whole.
Choose 100% whole-grain breads, cereals, crackers, pasta and brown rice. Check the ingredients list on food packages to find whole-grain foods. Switch to fat-free or low-fat milk. Fat-free and low-fat milk have the same amount of calcium and other essential nutrients as whole milk, but less fat and calories. If you are lactose intolerant, try lactose-free milk or a calcium-fortified soy beverage.