The information is out there to get 3 servings of dairy/day, 6-11 servings of grains, to eat 5 day, or to fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. What does all this mean? What constitutes a serving?
Fruit: 2 servings/day (generally)
1 serving=1 cup of fresh, frozen, or canned, 1/2 cup dried, or 1 cup of 100% juice.
Fruits provide folate, vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber.
Examples: Apple, apricot, avocado, banana, blueberries, cherries, grapefruit, grapes, honeydew, kiwi, mango, nectarine, orange, papaya, peach, pear, pineapple, plumb, raspberries, strawberries, tangerine, and watermelon.
Vegetables: 3-5 servings/day
1 serving= 1 cup raw or cooked, 1 cup 100% juice, 1 cup cooked legumes, or 2 cups raw, leafy greens
Vegetables provide folate, vitamins A, C, K, and E, magnesium , potassium, and fiber.
Examples: artichoke, asparagus, legumes (black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, soy beans, white beans) beets, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cassava, cauliflower, celery, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, squash, zucchini, and leafy greens: kale, chard, arugula, spinach, romaine lettuce.
Grains: 6-11 servings/day
1 serving=1 oz 1 slice of bread, 1/2 cup cooked rice, pasta, or cereal, 1 oz dry pasta or rice, 1 cup ready to eat cereal, or 3 c popped popcorn.
Grains provide folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, iron, magnesium, selenium, and fiber. Choose whole grains, which contain more nutrients, opposed to refined grains.
Examples: Amarath, barley, brown rice, buckwheat, bulgur, millet, oats, quinoa, rye, wheat, sweet potato, potato ,peas, and corn.
Protein: 2-3 servings/day
1 serving= 3 oz lean meat, poultry, or seafood, 1 egg, 1/4 cup cooked legumes or tofu, 1 Tbs peanut butter, and 1/2 oz nuts or seeds.
Protein foods provides protein, essential fatty acids, niacin, thiamin, vitamin B6 and B12, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
Examples: Seafood (tuna, halibut, salmon, mackerel, tilapia, shrimp, crab, lobster), lean meats (poultry, beef, lamb, pork), eggs, legumes (black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, lentils, soy beans, white beans), nuts/nut butters (almonds, cashews, walnuts, pistachios, peanuts), and seeds (flax, chia, sunflower, sesame, pumpkin).
Dairy: 3 servings/day
1 serving=1 cup of milk, yogurt, fortified soy milk, and 1-1/2 oz natural cheese.
Dairy products contribute protein, riboflavin, vitamin B12, calcium, potassium, and when fortified vitamin A and D.
Examples: Milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, fortified soy, almond, or coconut milk.
Oils: This is not a food group, however it is good to keep serving size in mind.
1 serving=1 teaspoon oil, 1 tablespoon low fat mayonnaise, or 2 tablespoons light salad dressing.
Oils contribute vitamin E and essential fatty acids.
Examples: Fatty fish, nuts, olives, seeds, canola, corn, flaxseed, olive, peanut, safflower, sesame, soy bean, sunflower, avocado, and coconut oils.