Comparing the proportions of the different spokes of the wheel, you will see immediately the relative importance of the various foods that make up a healthy diet for an average adult or child. For an adult, these proportions are based on a 2,400-calorie diet.
Whole grains. The grain group, a prime source of energy, supplies about one-quarter of the daily calories for most children and adults (more or less, depending on energy expenditure). One serving = one slice of bread, 3/4 cup of dry cereal, 1/2 cup cooked cereal, 1/2 cup rice or pasta.
Vegetables, fruits and legumes. Together these groups comprise another quarter of a total daily healthy diet.
- Vegetables: one serving = one cup of raw or 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables, 3/4 cup of vegetable juice.
- Fruits: one serving = 3/4 cup of fruit juice, one medium apple, orange, or banana; 1/2 cup of fruit.
- Legumes: one serving = 1/2 cup of canned beans, 2 tablespoons of nutbutter, one cup of cooked lentils or beans, one ounce (3-4 tablespoons) of seeds or nuts
Seafood. One serving = 4 ounces
Dairy. One serving = 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of yogurt, 1/2 cup of cottage cheese, 1 ounce of cheese
Soy foods. One serving = 3 ounces of tofu, 8 ounces of soy milk
Vegetable oils. Flax, canola, and soy, plus nut oils. 1 serving = 1 tbsp.
Eggs. 3 per week
Meat and poultry. One serving = 4 ounces
Desserts and treats. Keep sweet treats a minor part of your diet and gradually make them less sweet and less fatty. One serving = 200 calorie equivalent of pie, cake, cookies, or ice cream.