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Control your food portions for a well-balanced diet

Control your food portions for a well-balanced diet

Thursday, April 21, 2022


While exercise is a vital part of maintaining good health, a well-balanced diet is just as important. Eating a variety of foods provides your body with the fuel and nutrients it needs. The number of certain foods and calories you need to eat depends on your age, gender, level of physical activity and overall health. 


Not sure where to start? Maurine Maneely, R.D., L.D., MBA, Genesis Clinical Nutrition Manager, suggests specific food and calorie recommendations for you. Ask your doctor for a referral to a registered dietitian, who is the best source for personalized advice. Also, Maneely recommends these easy tips when choosing a meal or snack. 


  • Enjoy: fruits and vegetables, whole grains, eggs, fish, lean meats 

  • Avoid: Processed foods, snack foods, sugary drinks, alcohol 


Maneely says another way to think about portion control is to draw an imaginary line down the center of your plate. Then draw a second imaginary line through one of the halves – you now have three sections. Load up the largest portion (or half the plate), with non-starchy vegetables, like salad, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower or tomatoes. 


Fill one of the smaller sections (a quarter of the plate) with starchy foods. Carbohydrates provide 45 to 60% of your energy level, so it’s best to opt for good carbs, such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, legumes, beans, nuts and seeds, 100% whole grains, and raw, whole and fresh fruits and vegetables. 


Fill the remaining small portion (a quarter of the plate) with protein. A daily source of protein is crucial for the body’s regulation and maintenance. In addition to the meaty sources (chicken, turkey and beef), you can also find protein in other places, such as eggs, fish and dairy. 


The easiest step you can take is to drink water with your meal. Hydration is key to keeping your skin beautiful, digestive system running smoothly, and energy levels high. Add a glass large glass of water to your meal, and voila – you have set the perfect plate. 


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Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.