What does a healthy plate look like? In an interview with the Health Channel, Carla Duenas, a Registered Dietician with Baptist Health South Florida, describes what a healthy meal might consist of.
Duenas shows a diagram delineating what foods are part of a healthy meal and what the portions should be like. In the diagram it shows that 25% of the plate should contain lean protein, 25% should be whole grains, and 50% should be vegetables. The diagram also includes a half cup of fruit and water on the side. Duenas says that “I know the majority of people don’t eat like this, but I love this visual because it’s the ideal tool for healthy eating, for weight loss, for promoting health in general, for heart disease, for diabetes.”
Duenas explains that half of the plate is occupied by vegetables because vegetables have a lot of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, which help keep you full. Duenas mentions that although the diagram says whole grains, it can be any carbohydrate such as potatoes, pasta, or bread. She says that cutting down on carbohydrates to the amount shown in the diagram usually helps people lose weight. altogether,ains that carbs are fuel, they are what the body uses for energy, so you cannot skip out on them altogether; but the amount you should be having depends on how much you exercise. If you are training for a marathon your plate would probably have more carbs than shown in the diagram, but if you are only working out less than an hour a day then your plate should be 25% carbs, 25% protein, and 50% vegetables.
So, we know what our meals should look like, but what about when you get hungry in between meals? Duenas says that snacking can get us into trouble because people tend to reach for something a little sweeter in between meals. Duenas defines healthy snacks as having complex carbohydrates with fiber. These carbohydrates should be paired with a protein or a healthy fat. Duenas says that this is the best option for snacks because the carbohydrates are turned into energy immediately and paired with a healthy fat or protein, it stays in the digestive system for longer. This keeps you from getting hungry for a longer period so you can make it to the next meal.
Carla Duenas describes more healthy eating habits and snacks, here: https://youtu.be/q7QWNdYAFw4