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Diet & Nutrition

A Healthful Diet
Meeting Daily Nutritional Guidelines - Tips
Servings and Serving Sizes
Calcium and Iron
Fruits and Vegetables

Daily Servings from all Food Groups
      The chart below explains how many daily servings of each food group are required for different ages and sexes, as well as the total daily caloric requirements of each group.

One of the most confusing things for people wanting to ensure they are following daily, recommended nutrition guidelines is deciding what counts as a full serving. The list below gives some examples of what is considered a proper serving for each food group.

1) Grains group
This group includes bread, cereal, rice and pasta, and includes both whole grains rice grains, and refined grain. Examples of 1 serving can include:
1 slice of bread
About 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal
1/2 cup of cooked cereal, rice, or pasta

2) Vegetable Group
It's true what they say about eating your fruits and vegetables! Servings include:
1 cup of raw leafy vegetables
1/2 cup of other vegetables cooked or raw
3/4 cup of vegetable juice

3) Fruits Group
Servings include:
1 medium apple, banana, orange, pear
1/2 cup of chopped, cooked, or canned fruit
3/4 cup of fruit juice

4) Milk Group
Milk and nutrition go hand in hand. This group includes milk, yogurt and cheeses. Milk substitutes can include soy milk and goats milk. Servings include:
1 cup of milk or yogurt
1 1/2 ounces of natural cheese
2 ounces of processed cheese

5) Meat Group
This group includes red meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs and nuts. Servings include:
2-3 ounces of cooked lean meat, fish or poultry
1/2 cup of cooked dry beans or 1/2 cup of tofu equals 1 ounce of lean meat
2 1/2-ounce soy burger or 1 egg equals 1 ounce of lean meat
2 tablespoons of peanut butter or 1/3 cup of nuts equals 1 ounce of meat

The U.S. Government's Food and Nutrition Information Center offers detailed information about nutritional guidelines for Americans. The National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases offers excellent resources on nutrition and other health issues.

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