Food groups

Serving sizes, examples, and notes

Non-starchy vegetables

4 - 8 servings per day

1/2 cup cooked vegetables 1 cup raw vegetables

· Non-starchy vegetables include all vegetables except: potatoes, corn, peas and winter squash.


2 - 4 servings per day

One small fresh fruit 1/2 cup juice

1/4 cup dried fruit

· Whole fruits are preferred because of the fiber and other nutrients they contain.

· Fruits canned in light syrup or their own juice, and frozen fruit with little or no added sugar are also good choices.

· Use only small amounts of fruit juice (8 oz per day or less), since even unsweetened juices can contain as much sugar as regular soda.

Low-fat dairy products

1 - 3 servings per day

1 cup of skim milk or light yogurt 1 oz of low-fat cheese

· Soy milk, soy yogurt, and soy cheese can take the place of dairy products.

· If servings of dairy or fortified soy are less than 2 per day, a calcium and vitamin D supplement is advised.

Whole grains and starchy vegetables

4 - 6 servings per day

1 slice whole wheat bread 1/2 cup potatoes, corn, peas or winter squash

1/2 large whole grain bun 1 small whole grain roll

6-inch whole wheat pita 6 whole grain crackers

1/2 cup cooked whole grain cereal

1/2 cup cooked whole wheat pasta, brown rice, or barley

· Whole grains are high in fiber and have less effect on blood sugar and triglyceride levels than refined, processed grains like white bread and pasta.

Whole grains also keep the stomach full longer, making it easier to control hunger.

Legumes and nuts

1 - 3 servings per day

2 Tbsp. Sunflower or sesame seeds 1 Tbsp. Peanut butter 7 - 8 walnuts or pecans 20 peanuts

12 - 15 almonds

1/4 cup fat free refried beans or baked beans

1/4 cup kidney, black, garbanzo, pinto, soy, navy beans, split peas, or lentils

· Aim for 1 - 2 servings of nuts or seeds and 1 - 2 servings of legumes per day.

· Legumes are high in fiber, protein, and minerals.

· Nuts are high in unsaturated fat, and may increase HDL without increasing LDL.

Fish or shellfish

2 - 3 servings/week

3 ounces (about the size of a deck of cards)

· Bake, sauté, broil, roast, grill or poach your fish.

· Choose fatty fishes like salmon, herring, sardines, or mackerel often. The fat in fish is high in omega-3 fats, so it has healthy effects on triglycerides and blood cells.

Poultry, if desired

1 - 3 servings/week

3 ounces (about the size of a deck of cards)

· Bake, sauté, stir fry, roast or grill the poultry you eat, and eat it without the skin.

Healthy fat

4 - 6 servings per day

1 tsp. olive or canola oil 2 tsp light margarine

1 Tbsp of regular salad dressing 2 Tbsp of light salad dressing, made with oil 1 tsp regular mayonnaise

1/8 of an avocado

5 olives*

· These fats are mostly unsaturated and contain little or no trans fat, so they will not increase LDL cholesterol levels.

· All fats are a concentrated source of calories, so try to keep the servings small.


No more than one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men.

One drink equals one 12 ounce beer, 4 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces liquor (whiskey, vodka, brandy, etc).

· People with high blood pressure or high triglycerides, or those taking certain medicines may be advised to avoid all alcohol. Ask your doctor to be sure.