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Healthy Eating: A Dietitian's Guide To A Balanced Plate

Healthy Food Plate
 The balanced plate provides a visual framework for the types of foods you should aim to include in your diet each day. These foods are high in heart-healthy fibers, lean proteins, and a variety of vitamins and minerals while low in sodium, saturated fats, and added sugars to keep you feeling great and maintaining a healthy weight long-term. The best part about this plate? You get to choose which foods you want to eat from each category, and there are endless combinations.

Fruits and Vegetables

Eat the rainbow

  • Fruits and vegetables come in a variety of bright colors - the greater the variety of colors on your plate, the wider the array of vitamins and minerals you get.

Fresh, frozen, dried, or canned?

  • All can be part of a healthy diet! Just keep an eye out for added sugars and sodium listed on the nutrition label.

How much?

  • 3+ SERVINGS OF VEGGIES PER DAY. One serving = one cup
  • 2 SERVINGS OF FRUIT PER DAY. One serving = one cup

Grains and Starches

Go whole


  • Whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa, popcorn, and whole wheat products contain more protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber than refined grains to reduce your risk of heart and bowel diseases and better manage your weight.

What about starches?


  • Starchy vegetables like potatoes, peas, and corn can all be part of a healthy diet! Just keep an eye on portion size and avoid eating them fried.

How much?


  • 1 serving = 1 oz. slice bread; 1 cup dry cereal; ½ cup cooked rice, pasta, cereal, potatoes, peas, corn


Think lean to grow strong!

  • Protein keeps your skin, muscles, and bones healthy, but choosing lower fat options like chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, and low-fat dairy products will also help keep your heart healthy.

Don't forget plant powerhouses


  • Plant-based proteins such as beans, lentils, edamame, tofu, nuts, seeds, and nut butters provide the added benefit of fiber, so be sure to give these a try as well!

How much?


  • 1 oz. = 1 oz. cooked meats; 1 egg; ¼ cup beans; 1 tbsp. nut butter; ½ oz. nuts or seeds