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It's Your Health... Take Charge!Serving Sizes, Shopping Tips

Good nutrition is essential for proper growth and development, overall good health, and physical and mental wellness. The consumption of too much fat and too few vegetables, fruits, and whole grain products have been found to increase the risk of developing coronary heart disease, some types of cancer, stroke, and Type 2 diabetes. To reduce the risk of early death due to diseases caused by poor diet, a daily intake of five to nine servings of vegetables is recommended. In 2000, about 75% of South Carolinians were not eating enough fruits and vegetables. In addition, about 28% had high blood pressure and over 59% were overweight or obese.

Do You Know?

The serving sizes for:

  • Take Down Fat

    Fruits and Veggies  More Matters

    Make Half your Grains Whole

    Take Action -Walk, play, dance...

    Take a look at the label
    meat, poultry and seafood are 3 ounces. This is about the size of a deck of cards.
  • pasta is 1/2 cup, or about the size of 1/2 a baseball.
  • cheese is 1 1/2 ounce or the size of four dice.

How to take away 100 calories?

  • Eat smaller portions.
  • Leave a few bites on your plate.
  • Choose water instead of a high calorie drink.
  • Choose the regular size instead of the super size.

Take a Look at the Label Smart Shopping Tips

  • Make a shopping list and stick to it. Planning ahead can help you to avoid buying foods on impulse, and keep to a budget.
  • Start shopping at the outside aisles. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables, low fat milk products, lean meats, poultry, fish and whole grain breads before shopping for convenience food items and snacks.
  • Increase your fiber intake by purchasing foods with 5 grams or more of fiber per serving.
  • Make every calorie count. A donut and a slice of whole grain wheat bread may have the same calories, but there are more vitamins in whole grain wheat bread.

It All Adds Up—Read the Label

  • The label information is based on a serving size of the food. This may be more or less than what you actually eat.
  • Try not to eat foods with saturated fats, trans fats and partially hydrogenated oils, or foods that are high in cholesterol and sodium like fast foods, chips and other snack foods.
  • Get LESS—If fat, sodium or cholesterol is less than 5% it is low, greater than 20% is too much.
  • Get ENOUGH—If fiber, vitamins and minerals are less than 5% it is low, greater than 20% is high.

Taking Charge in Meadowland  Healthy Heart & Soul Recipe Book   Activity Book - Activities & Tip for Healthy Eating


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In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, political beliefs, or disability.

To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TTY). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

This material was funded by USDA's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program -- SNAP.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination against its customers, employees, and applicants for employment on the bases of race, color, national origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, religion, reprisal and, where applicable, political beliefs, marital status, familial or parental status, sexual orientation, or if all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program, or protected genetic information in employment or in any program or activity conducted or funded by the Department. (Not all prohibited bases will apply to all programs and/or employment activities.)
If you wish to file a Civil Rights program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, found online at http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, or at any USDA office, or call (866) 632-9992 to request the form. You may also write a letter containing all of the information requested in the form. Send your completed complaint form or letter to us by mail at U.S. Department of Agriculture, Director, Office of Adjudication, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20250-9410, by fax (202) 690-7442 or email at program.intake@usda.gov.