You can eat well and still enjoy mouthwatering meals! The Balanced Plate model is an easy, delicious way to get the kind of healthy fuel your body knows how to use.
It’s as simple as eyeballing it. A balanced plate has 50% non-starchy veggies, 25% lean proteins, and 25% carbs. Small portions of healthy fats can also be part of a balanced meal plan.
Nature’s superfoods! Non-starchy veggies have powerful nutrients that reduce inflammation. They also lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and prevent heart attack and stroke. Enjoy a variety of enticing colors and flavors.
- Leafy greens (collard, kale, spinach)
- Green beans
- Bell peppers
The building blocks of the body. Whether they’re meat or vegetarian, protein-rich foods are very useful. They help you maintain and lose weight, even out your blood sugar, boost your energy, and support strong muscles and bones.
- Beans (pinto, kidney, black ― good sources of protein and carbs)
- Reduced fat cheese (such as part skim options)
- Lean pork
- Lean beef
A tasty way to energize. Complex carbs include whole grains, starchy veggies, fruit, and dairy. They have nutrients and fiber, which help improve cholesterol levels and lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. They also have natural sugars, so it’s best to enjoy carbs in small portions.
- Sweet potatoes
- Potatoes (russet, white, purple, Yukon gold, etc.)
- Beans (white, lima, lentils― good sources of carbs and protein)
- Squash (butternut, pumpkin, acorn, winter, etc.)
- Whole wheat products (tortillas, pasta, bread, etc.)
- Brown/wild rice
- Wheat berries
- Sprouted whole grains
- Melons (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, etc.)
- Milk (cow’s, or alternatives like almond, soy, rice, or coconut)
- Greek yogurt
Not all fat is bad! Your body needs some fat to give you energy. It also protects your organs and helps keep your body temp at normal levels. Healthy fats lower bad cholesterol (LDL), increase good cholesterol (HDL), keep you feeling full after eating, and even keep your brain working well. Just keep an eye on serving sizes to make sure you’re on track for your healthy weight goals.
- Nuts (almonds, cashews, macadamia, etc.)
- Unsweetened nut butters (peanut, almond)
- Seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower, etc.)
- Extra-virgin olive oil