Remember: There are few or no carbohydrates in the following:
1 serving = ½ cup hot cereal; ¾ cup cold dry unsweetened cereal; 1/3 cup rice or pasta; 1 slice of bread; 4- 6 crackers; 1 waffle or pancake (size of a CD); 1 small baked potato; ½ cup of mashed potato, corn, peas, or beans; 3 cups of popped popcorn; ½ hamburger bun, hot dog bun, or English muffin; 1 cup soup; ½ of a small bagel or tortilla shell.
Meat and meat substitutes: Choose 2-3 servings daily.
1 serving = 3 ounces of cooked meat/poultry/ fish (size of a deck of cards); 1 egg, 2 egg whites; ¼ cup egg beaters; ¼ cup low-fat cottage cheese; 1 tablespoon peanut butter.
Fruit: Choose 2-3 fruits daily. Fresh, frozen, or canned (packed in 100% juice, not light or heavy syrup or “no sugar added” varieties).
1 serving = 1 small fruit (113g or 4 ounces); ½ cup unsweetened canned fruit; 17 grapes;
2 tbsp raisins; 1 cup cubed melon;
¼ cup dried fruit; ½ cup 100% fruit juice.
Milk and yogurt: Choose 2 - 3 servings daily. Pick low-fat or fat-free versions most often.
1 serving = 1 cup of skim or 1% milk;
170g or 6 ounces low-fat yogurt; ½ cup low-fat or sugar-free ice cream; ½ cup sugar-free pudding.
Sweets and sugary foods: Choose less often.
1 serving = 1 tablespoon regular jelly, jam, or syrup; 5cm (2 inch) square of cake; ½ cup regular ice cream; ½ glazed donut; 1/3 cup sherbet; 2 small cookies; ½ small frosted cupcake; ½ cup soda.
Non-starchy vegetables: Choose at least 3 - 5 servings daily.
1 serving = 1 cup raw vegetables or ½ cup cooked vegetables, such as green beans, broccoli, carrots, celery, cucumber, lettuce and other dark leafy greens; mushrooms; okra; onions; pea pods; peppers; tomatoes; beets; zucchini, etc.
Fats: Choose 2 - 3 servings daily.
Read labels and choose foods that are labeled trans-fat free and do not contain hydrogenated oils in the ingredients list.
1 serving = 1 teaspoon butter, margarine, oil, or mayonnaise; 1 tablespoon salad dressing; nuts; seeds; reduced-fat mayonnaise or cream cheese; tbsp reduced-fat salad dressing or sour cream. (Tip of thumb is a teaspoon; whole thumb is a tablespoon.)
Use the healthy plate method
This will balance meals and control portion sizes, leading to gradual weight loss and better control of blood sugar levels.
Fruit: One small fresh fruit or half-cup unsweetened canned fruit or unsweetened juice.
Dairy: Milk, yogurt (plain, unsweetened, or light).
Non-starchy vegetables: Lettuce, broccoli, dark leafy greens, carrots, celery, green beans, cucumber, cabbage, mushrooms, okra, onions, pea pods, peppers, tomatoes, beets, zucchini, beets, eggplant, etc.
Carbohydrates: Pasta, rice, bread, crackers, cereal, potatoes, peas, lentils, dried bean/ legumes, corn, sweet potatoes, winter squash.
Protein: Lean meat, skinless poultry, fish, eggs, low-fat cottage or ricotta cheese, tofu, low-fat cheese, peanut butter or reduced fat peanut butter.