Using Vegetables as the Base of Each Meal

Posted 09/18/2012 | By HealthCorps

Americans typically set up their lunch or dinner plate with a heaping serving of a main entrée, usually a meat protein, and another heaping portion of some kind of grain carbohydrate like rice, pasta or bread.  A small serving of vegetables or a side salad is often an afterthought.  Re-thinking that plate outline can go a long way to boosting health and it may even help you to shed some pounds.Create a new plate template, by always starting with at least 2 servings of cooked or fresh vegetables on your plate, as a base.  Add a 4 to 6 ounce serving size of protein, and consider going meat-free two or more days per week.  You can include fish, beans and legumes, tofu or eggs instead of the meat protein.  Then add a measured ½ cup of a complex carbohydrate, preferably a whole grain, or one single serving of high fiber bread or baked crackers.  Don’t forget to include yams, sweet potatoes, corn or peas – all considered starchy, nutrient dense vegetables.

By including more vegetables (high in fiber) you will feel fuller, and measuring your protein and carbohydrate servings will help you to control calories.  Reducing meat consumption translates to a lower saturated fat intake.  These habits will support better health and a smaller waistline.

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