Recommended nutrient ratios vary depending on your age, your goals and the plan you are following, i.e. keto, mediterranean, zone, etc. Regardless of these variables, our nutritionist and dietitian recommend the following ratios to patients to create a healthy plate.
1) 30% of your plate should be carbs
Remember that carbs include vegetables, whole grains, fruit, dairy, legumes. The best way to pick your fruits and veggies is to stick WITH what you like that is in season.
Remember there are starchy carbs and non-starchy carbs. Examples of starchy carbs are bread, pasta, rice, couscous, potatoes, breakfast cereals, and oats. Non starchy carbs include broccoli, peppers, kale, spinach. Nutritionists suggest eating more non-starchy carbohydrates because they are 90–95% water, making them a good source of hydration in your diet. Also, even though they are low calorie content, non-starchy vegetables are high in fiber and contain essential vitamins and minerals.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away is an old saying and many people have interpreted this as “eat as much fruit as you want.” However vitamin rich and nutrient full fruit is, it is also high in calories and sugar. Err on the side of mostly vegetables for your carbs and eat fruit more sparingly.
2) 30% of your plate should be lean protein
- Cod, haddock, pollock, flounder, halibut, tilapia and orange roughy
- Skinless white poultry
- Lean ground beef, 90/10 or 93/7
- Pork tenderloin, pork (loin) chops and pork top loin or sirloin roasts
- Non Dairy Yogurt
- Almond, Cashew or Peanut Butters (go for those labeled Natural)
- Meat Replacements
- Veggie Burger
3) 40% of your plate should be fats
It’s important to stay satiated and good fats do just that. It seems like a dirty little secret but fat is also a nutrient, and just like protein and carbohydrates, your body needs fat for energy, to absorb vitamins, and to protect your heart and brain health.
But NOT all fat is created equal. Monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are known as the “good fats” because they are good for your heart, your cholesterol, and your overall health. These fats can help to:
- Lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Lower bad LDL cholesterol levels, while increasing good HDL.
- Prevent abnormal heart rhythms.
- Lower triglycerides associated with heart disease and fight inflammation.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Prevent atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries).
Monounsaturated fats include:
High sources of monounsaturated fats are found in olive, canola, peanut, and sesame oils, avocados, olives, nuts (almonds, peanuts, macadamia, hazelnuts, pecans, cashews) and peanut butter.
Polyunsaturated fat – good sources include:
- Sunflower, sesame, and pumpkin seeds
- Fatty fish (salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring, trout, sardines) and fish oil
- Soybean and safflower oil
Now that we’re”safer at home” and cooking more, keep things simple. Pick your three favorites from these lists, steam, bake, grill and season with herbs and spices and voila! you’re done.
Low calorie ways to season food
**A normal dinner sized plate is 9 inches across although many of the ones sold today are 13 inches in diameter.