How Much Should I Eat?
The Dietary Guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) encourage people to eat a suggested amount from five major food groups every day. 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 include vegetables, fruits, and whole-grain foods. Eating the smallest amount suggested will give you about 1,600 calories a day, the largest number has about 2,800 calories.
The Dietary Guidelines suggest:
Grains�5-10 ounces; some choices are:
- One roll, slice of bread, or small muffin,
- 1/2 cup of cooked rice or pasta, or about 1 cup (1 oz.) of ready-to-eat cereal
Vegetables�2 to 31/2 cups with a variety of colors and types of vegetables
Fruits�11/2 to 21/2 cups
Milk, yogurt, and cheese�3 cups of milk:
- 1 cup of yogurt equals one cup of milk,
- 11/2 to 2 ounces of cheese equals one cup of milk,
- 1 cup of cottage cheese equals 1/2 cup of milk.
Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts�5 to 7 ounces of lean meat, poultry, or fish:
- 1/4 cup of cooked beans or tofu, 1 egg, 1/2 ounce of nuts or seeds, or 1 tablespoon of peanut butter�each can count as one ounce of meat.
Some other tips:
- Each day eat only small amounts of fats, oils, and sweets.
- When eating foods from the grains group, try to include at least 3 ounces from whole grains.
- Sometimes manufacturers put more than one serving in a package or bottle.