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SparkPoints: (38,720)
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Posts: 481
12/6/12 8:45 A

I am consistently way under my protein numbers, my carbs are always in the range and my fats are usually just under. I'm adding in a protein low cal low carb shake to help boost those numbers!

Love my fruits and veggies just wish there was a cookie food group!!!!

SparkPoints: (15,227)
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Posts: 450
12/6/12 8:07 A

I eat very limited from dairy and grain groups. I do eat pseudo grains though. My diet is more plant based with some meat. So I cannot track that way.

Posts: 968
12/5/12 12:28 P

I shoot for a balanced ratio of fat/carb/protein. I am not low, low carb but probably lower then some people.

Posts: 213
12/5/12 12:19 P

I am obsessed with fruit and vegetables but have a really hard time fitting in protein in my diet. I'll eat beans but I just don't like meat. I was a full blown vegetarian before I met my beef farmer husband. Funny what love does to us! lol

SparkPoints: (23,309)
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Posts: 737
12/4/12 7:35 P

I don't think of it in terms of food groups, but in terms of macro nutrients -- protein, carbs, and fats. I love carbs, so I focus on getting my protein in. I have also found that if I go extremely low-fat, I am never satisfied, so I include some fats (1% milk and 2% yogurt rather than nonfat). I usually have more protein than the tracker recommends, but that is how I feel at my best. And I agree that you can never have too many veggies!

Posts: 1,827
12/4/12 1:56 P

I believe God gave us a wonderful, colorful variety of foods with nothing off limits when enjoyed in moderation and with common sense. Here's my 1400-calorie breakdown:
6-ounce equivalent of meat/protein (45 cals each)
6 servings of bread/grain/starchy veggie, mostly whole grain (80 cals each)
3 fruits (60 cals each)
4 non-starchy veggies (25 cals each)
4 healthy fats (45 cals each)
2 low-fat dairy (80-100 cals each)

This adds up to 1370-1410 calories for a day and keeps me totally satisfied (I weigh 136).
Eating this way has become a habit, includes a healthy variety, and makes it easy to know if I'm eating on track (I find I don't need to journal any more; I just plan my eating with these guidelines in mind.) I've reached my goal weight and have been able to maintain it. I also do about 150 -200 mins of cardio a week and two to three days of simple strength-training exercises.

If I want a piece of cake or other treat, or even a splurge meal on occasion, I do it. (I'm not into deprivation!) This works for me!

SparkPoints: (135,745)
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Posts: 5,205
12/3/12 4:45 A

I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables but find I need protein to be at my best in terms of how I feel and having energy. I eat carbs but not at the quantities recommended by the tracker.

SparkPoints: (123,892)
Fitness Minutes: (151,603)
Posts: 2,216
12/2/12 11:49 A

I don't think you can eat TOO MANY fruits & veggies...they're great for you! There are tons of non-meat protein sources...or you can add some lean fish or chicken to your daily diet. Personally, I don't think about the Food Groups or Food Pyramid EVER...I just live my life.

Some days I eat great & super-healthy...some days I don't. And yet, shockingly, life goes on....regardless of charts & groups & pyramids. Go figure. ;)

Posts: 488
12/2/12 10:00 A

I know I eat more fruits and vegetables then needed. I also undereat protein. I watch the protein consumption and try to up it with more fish and beans.

SparkPoints: (235,691)
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Posts: 11,781
12/1/12 4:33 P

I add items in my tracker. When i notices i was constantly under my protein numbers i made a point to eat more protein.

i also tried to add more legumes to my diet so i was tracking my servings of those.

when i got sick from multivitamins (hives) i decided i needed to make it a priority to eat more freggies so i started planning for 5-9 servings a day. i no longer track that but i do snack on fruits and veggies so i get at least 5 most days.

Posts: 2,667
12/1/12 7:52 A

not really, especially when it comes to breads and pastas.

I try to choose healthy grains when I have them at all, rather than a roll, slice of bread or other
"white, non-nutritional" options

Posts: 329
11/30/12 8:04 P

I go to Tops (Taking off Pounds sensibly), and, when I joined, I was quite surprised when they showed me the food exchange groups and startch consisted of 75 calories for one exchange or serving. When people read the food guide and think they can have that many servings of bread, etc. They are not taking into account that one "serving" of bread is actually 2 servings.. One bagel can be 3 to 4 servings of starch.. Quite an eye opener regarding portion control.

Posts: 13,503
11/30/12 10:02 A

I eat grains, etc, but I don't eat anywhere near five to seven a day. Maybe I eat three servings of grain or starch per day. I would gain weight if I ate that many grain servings per day. It would put me way over my recommended calories.

Posts: 474
11/30/12 9:13 A

Interesting comments. We all have such unique perspectives on this topic.

Posts: 7,911
11/30/12 8:09 A

I think the myplate new guidelines *are* pretty close to how I eat dinner. The trick for me is how I eat snacks. Meals I do well, but snacks can easily mess me up.

SparkPoints: (60,921)
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Posts: 724
11/27/12 6:47 P

I don't stick with the pre-set guidelines for food as set by the government. I can't afford to eat like that. My diet consists mostly of sandwiches and oatmeal. Fruit is a bonus when I can afford it. The same with vegetables. And meat is just way out of my budget.

Posts: 1,594
11/26/12 3:11 P

I also take a calcium supplement. It's hard to eat enough dairy and calcium-rich plants to meet the recommended daily amount, especially while dieting. If calories were no concern it might be different, because I love milk, cream, cheese, ice cream and all that good stuff.

Posts: 1,594
11/26/12 3:06 P

Even bearing in mind proper serving portions, there's no way I can eat that much food and remain in my calorie range. I try to reach the limits on Spark for protein, carbohydrates and fats, and mentally keep track of number of servings of fruits and vegetables every day. My overall diet philosophy is "eat more plants," and the rest seems to fall into place.

SparkPoints: (16,827)
Fitness Minutes: (1,207)
Posts: 983
11/25/12 7:31 P

I have and was successful with Weight Watches years ago. Now however I eat what I'm in the mood for. Lately with shorter days and cooler weather I'm eattig more starches including toast with PB & fruit spread at night; squash or sweet potatoes as part of my dinner; oatmeal or farina for breakfast.

I do make sure to eat at least 2-3 fruits and 3-5 veggies per day. Can't have any dairy so I instead sub one soy milk and a soy protein powder smoothie most days.

I do eat a lot of homemade vegetable based soups, and strive to eat a big dinner salad several times a week with oil & vingar or tofu based dressing. That is less enticing when winter sets in but I know the micronutrients in cold raw foods are best for us as they are balanced with lots of phyto-ntrients besides the vitamins, minerals & fiber.

SparkPoints: (2,095)
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Posts: 574
11/25/12 9:19 A

Food guides are recommendations. Many of those recommendations are based on junk science. Not to mention that government sponsored food guides are highly politicized. More and more research is showing the best diet for humans consists mainly of whole, unprocessed, plant-based foods. The myths of requiring lots of animal proteins, dairy and cereal grains in our diet is what is causing many of health issues people face today. As proof I offer this bit of knowledge: it is known that we share 99% of our DNA with chimpanzees. The diet of chimpanzees is approximately 94% vegetation and they are very strong agile creatures. If they can thrive on a mostly vegetarian diet, wouldn't this also apply to us?

Posts: 273
11/25/12 7:58 A

Since I am essentially Paleo/Primal, I eat very little of the grain food group. Preferentially rice. I will occasionally (once a week) have toast with my breakfast.

My goal is to eat 50% non starchy veggies, and up the healthier seafood choices. I don't always get there.

SparkPoints: (38,298)
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Posts: 1,066
11/25/12 12:08 A

I don't but I plan to start so I will know if I am getting the nutrients my body needs.

Posts: 2,349
11/21/12 11:43 P

I try to eat 5-8 servings of fruit and vegetables per day. Love the former, don't care much for the latter, so I get loads of fruit in my diet. Then, when I eat balanced meals for the rest of the day, it usually works out being close to the FDA food pyramid. I find it a helpful guide, but don't worry about sticking to it real close.

Loved the suggestions for using vegetables in place of pasta from a previous post!

Posts: 939
11/21/12 4:33 P

I agree with the portion size deal. 6 servings of grains does NOT mean 6 "Americanized" plates of spaghetti or a whole sandwich or a half box of crackers...appropriate portion sizes are much smaller. A typical bagel now days would be about 4 of those 6 ounces right there. If you are still thinking this is too much, try actually measuring your foods. You may be surprised that you're eating more than you think when it comes down to it.

Also, I'm finding it funny are those that either really like or dislike the new MyPlate method compared to the MyPyramid. Honestly, they're actually the very same thing, but laid out differently. MyPlate is supposed to be easier to understand, but if you actually read into it, it's making the same recommendations as the MyPyramid was. The shape has changed - that's all.

As for me, no I don't track. I know I get at least 6 (but often much more) fruit and veggie servings daily. I get lean protein with ALL of my meals and most snacks. I consume adequate calcium via *some* dairy, but many other sources. And all of my grains are whole, but in moderation. When I *do* track my food, it's just using the SP system, which is ideal.

Posts: 304
11/21/12 4:19 P

I've added it up sometime previously and was pretty close to getting all the recommended food groups. It's interesting to learn how much actually qualifies as a servings. It's less than I originally thought, such as Bread: 1 slice. Most people don't have 1 slice when they have a sandwich or toast. So it's actually easy to get all the food groups in a day when you know the actual serving sizes.

Posts: 1,482
11/21/12 3:11 P

i do the plate method for dinner, with 3/4 veggies, 1/4 something else. I try to limit whole grains to one serving a day, 1 dairy a day, 1 meat a day- with nuts, veggies and fruits, eggs making up the rest of the food for my calorie range. If I stick to that plan, I am within my calorie range. I have to be honest, I have been having a tough time lately, and havnet stayed within my range for a while.

SparkPoints: (20,933)
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Posts: 287
11/21/12 11:45 A

I'd like to think that I eat healthier than that plate says...I don't eat meat and I don't eat dairy a lot. My plate is almost all veggies emoticon

Posts: 5,070
11/21/12 11:13 A

can't follow the pyramid on my lifestyle. besides i think the gov't plate is ridiculous. I liked the pyramid better. But even when i followed the standard american diet, I didn't necessarily pay attention. Now I do fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. I can get plenty of protein and nutrients from those 4 types of food.

SparkPoints: (51,857)
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Posts: 1,481
11/21/12 11:02 A

Breads/Cereals very little but otherwise only low on dairy. Over on fruits/veg.

SparkPoints: (15,605)
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Posts: 2,171
11/20/12 12:59 A

I try to meet what the SP percentages are versus the "food pyramid" or whatever. Most days I'm pretty close to the percentages, or I'm above on the protein and below on the carbs, which is fine w/ me.

The government doesn't use the food pyramid anymore really. They use . It's very much a simplified version, but it gets the point across to people who are really clueless about what healthy eating is. All of us here know what healthy eating is, so it doesn't make sense to us. I volunteer for a program called Cooking Matters, which is cooking/nutrition classes for low income folks. Many people in the classes are coming from eating really really unhealthy food, so the myplate idea works well for them to learn how to eat a better balanced diet and gives goals on how many fruits/veggies to eat.

I put in my info on the site just to see what it said, and they gave me the following guidelines to eat by, based on an 1800 calorie diet (which is around what I'm supposed to eat to maintain anyway):

Grains 6oz
Vegetables 2.5 cups
Fruits 1.5 cups
Dairy 3 cups
Protein Foods 5 ounces

They also gave me this:
1 Make Half Your Grains Whole
Aim for at least 3 ounces of whole grains a day.

2 Vary Your Veggies
Aim for this much every week:

Dark Green Vegetables = 1.5 cups weekly
Orange Vegetables = 5.5 cups weekly
Dry Beans & Peas = 1.5 cups weekly
Starchy Vegetables = 5 cups weekly
Other Vegetables = 4 cups weekly

Oils & Empty Calories
Aim for 5 teaspoons of oils a day.
Limit your empty calories (extra fats & sugars) to 160 Calories.

Overall some pretty good guidelines for a basic diet I think. I personally don't eat nearly that much dairy since I don't drink milk, and I'm not as good about getting a lot of veggies in, but it's always a goal.

Posts: 51
11/19/12 11:35 P

I don't track my food groups, but now that you've mentioned it, I think I will. I have been doing cardio, fats, and protein. I'm sure I lack in dairy since I hardly use it. I'm going to look into that.

Posts: 52
11/19/12 3:21 P

Do NOT follow the "My Pyramid" serving amounts!! Instead, use this "pyramid"

A typical serving of grain is 1/2 cup with 150 calories (200 for pasta!). That's half the calories of the meal for many of us. There is no way you can be a healthy weight while eating 5-7 servings of those foods. Not to mention the harm to your insides. Our digestive systems cannot handle grains; that's why many of us become bloated and/or constipated from too many carbs. I fill 3/4 of my plate with veggies/greens and the rest protein and/or a carb. Yes, even complex carbs can wreak havoc on your digestive system and weight control goals.

Posts: 55
11/19/12 12:17 P

My secret for a lot of these "argh" moments is to find nutritionally rich foods to fill my catagories. I don't eat just a fiber food. I want a fiber food that has other nutritional benefits. Or my proteins. I want my proteins to be nutritionally "rich" also!

My "secret weapon" foods are: edammame, flax, clementines, grapes/raisins, greek yogurt, strawberries (especially in smoothies with flax), bananas, large portion salads with minimal add ins (1-2 slices of bacon, homemade croutons, and vinegar based dressings). I think people who are making these pyramids/plates are basing their reccomendations on a few flawed things, especially that we're all healthy normal-weight adults with good metabolisms and no medical issues. We're reducing the amount of calories we eat, so we need to reduce the servigs on the pyramid. Your dietician may be licensed, but I don't agree with her recommendations. You need food and energy for your body and its processes to function properly. Contrary to what many may think, you need fat... you need carbohydrates... you need fiber. It's just a matter of finding the right balance for your body..

I'm happy to help anyone if I can, just send me a message :)

I was NOT healthy. I was morbidly morbidly obsese... If there was an "extra" morbidly obese catagory, I'd fit into it. I lost 122 lbs in about 15 months JUST by dieting and getting a few good hikes in a month.

We can do this. We owe it to our bodies and to ourselves. For those of you just starting, once you feel like a changed person, you won't even remember the person you used to be. It's hard. Many of us know that.. but we CAN do it. It's a constant battle... but we'll win :)

Posts: 221
11/19/12 10:32 A

I had to see a dietitian a couple of years ago because of my weight. She wanted me to keep a food diary for a couple of weeks on my regular diet. Then she wanted me to measure everything I was eating. We then calculated the calories. Then we cut back to 1200 calories (I am 5 feet tall). I could eat whatever to add up to 1200 calories. I was encouraged to pattern after the food pyramid. I not only did I not lose weight, I was creeping up. I was measuring everything, even seasonings. I weighed in every week at her office. She even said I was obsessing with the weighing and measuring of food. So I ended up cutting even lower to 800 calories with 30 minutes of exercise 4 days a week. Pretty much veggies and an egg or bit of fish with a meal. Weight started to sloooowly come off. She was surprised. I lost 45 pounds and she said to stay there for a while. We worked out a maintenance diet that added whole grain bread like ezekiel (Yup, I managed to gag down half a slice every day). Darn if the weight didn't start to come back. So changed the diet again. A couple of servings of carbs -- corn, potato, yam, whole grains. The weight started creeping back up. Added more exercise to 45 minutes 5 days a week. No change.

I honestly don't see how anyone but the most dedicated runner or fitness person who is 6 feet tall can do the food pyramid. Maybe the lucky few with really reved up metabolisms.

I like the idea of proportions to match, but the quantities are for linebackers.

SparkPoints: (7,035)
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Posts: 140
11/19/12 9:52 A

nope, I just try to focus on eating a variety of healthy foods that stick in my calorie range. usually get a good representation of the different food groups, but not necessarily the recommended amounts.

Posts: 10
11/18/12 7:49 A

Realistically I will never meet the requirements outlined as daily servings.

Posts: 2,679
11/18/12 12:19 A

i have enough to do tranking serving sizes and calories. messing with the rest of it makes me think someone is either too invested in trivia or else has too much time on her hands.

Posts: 1,142
11/17/12 10:47 P

Fruits and Veggies - 9 servings
Protein - 4 servings
Water - 8 glasses

Any grains I eat are whole grains and I just keep them to a minimum. I usually get enough dairy by working on the protein.

Posts: 474
11/17/12 10:43 P

I have never given it a thought.

Posts: 10,861
11/17/12 4:20 P

It's almost impossible to eat 5-7 servings of bread/pasta etc and still stay within calorie guidelines. And for me, if I ate that much grain in one day, I'd have to move my bed into the toilet. I'd never be able to leave my house!

SparkPoints: (14,682)
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Posts: 331
11/16/12 8:19 P

And one other thing - WHOLE grains have less calories per serving. If you can replace grains with other things like vegetables, you'll cut even more calories. For example, spaghetti squash instead of spaghetti noodles, or zucchini noodles. Or cauliflower rice (search the sparkrecipes for the method of making it) is actually a decent substitute for rice. Or mashed cauliflower for mashed potatoes.

SparkPoints: (14,682)
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Posts: 331
11/16/12 8:16 P

I ade myself an excel spreadsheet a long time ago based on the food guide pyramid, and their suggestions for x servings of each color of veggies, fruits, etc. It's EXTREMELY hard to eat to that. I eat much better with the % breakdown of calories on the sparkpeople suggestions. If you want me to email you the spreadsheet, let me know. You can PM me your email address if you want.

SparkPoints: (9,952)
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Posts: 582
11/16/12 5:53 P

I'm an intuitive eater. I don't really track anything but I like to be pretty close to the pyramid. I tend to feel my best that way.

SparkPoints: (42,774)
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Posts: 1,523
11/16/12 3:18 P

Nope I was thinking more of the pyramid.

Posts: 5,070
11/16/12 3:04 P

do you mean that silly plate that gov't came up with? No way. Besides I eat mainly a plant based diet so the milk/yogurt/cheese-- would never happen. Fruits and veggies and nuts and seeds-- that is what I mainly eat.

Before I got into the raw diet-- yeah, I followed the food pyramid to a point.

SparkPoints: (42,774)
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11/16/12 11:00 A

Does anyone track their food group consumption and see if it matches the recommended serving amounts? I'd be interested to know how people do it (especially the bread/rice/pasta group) while staying within their calorie allotment!

Milk/Yogurt/Cheese (2-3 servings)
Meats/Beans/Eggs (2-3 servings)
Fruits (2-4 servings)
Vegetables (3-5 servings)
Bread/Cereals/Rice/Pasta (5-7 servings)

Edited by: POPSECRET at: 11/16/2012 (13:38)

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