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Whole Foods and Portion Control for a Healthy Lifestyle

By Alea Lester and Haylee Kurtzweg, YWCA Registered Dietitians
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March is National Nutrition Month – and it is all about the food!

YWCA Registered Dietitians Alea Lester and Haylee Kurtzweg provide tips on whole foods and portion control to keep a healthy lifestyle.

March is National Nutrition Month and we are marking the occasion by offering some tips on eating whole foods and monitoring portions. Portion control can go a long way to help you stay healthy. By monitoring our portion sizes, we can prevent overeating and ensure more balanced meals throughout the day. You can also maintain balance by making sure to include at least three main food groups at each meal so your body is getting a good mixture of nutrients and not too much of any one item.

A balanced diet is easier to achieve when preparing meals made with whole foods at home.

Here are tips to help you monitor portions and eat balanced meals:

  1. Use a smaller dish to make portions look more filling.
  2. Start with a small first helping.
  3. Avoid distractions like TV, and eat in designated food zones, such as the kitchen or dining room.
  4. Make half your plate vegetables at lunch and dinner; round that out with a quarter for whole grains and a quarter for protein.A platter of different foods including nuts, grains, avocado, citrus, a small cup of oil and fish with the their recommended portion sizes

Follow these food specific guidelines:

  • Protein: 3 oz. (about the size of a deck of cards)
  • Grains: ½ cup cooked
  • Vegetables: ½ cup cooked or raw, 1 cup raw greens
  • Fruit: ½ cup, ¼ cup dried
  • Nuts/Seeds: ¼ cup
  • Oils: 1 tsp.

Learn more about YWCA Nutrition Counseling