Health Tips & Facts #4

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[Taunya is nurse, author, and director of MAWMedia Group’s Health Literacy efforts. Find her author page at]

100 Health facts and tips (#4 of 100)

#4 Portion size and food selection are a part of the weight management solution.

When it comes to managing your weight or working toward a healthy weight, exercise is only part of the solution. Portion sizes AND what you have on your plate matter too. Did you know that the food pyramid, a pattern in place since 1992, was replaced in 2011 with the “My Plate” symbol ( The new symbol is meant to provide a better visual guide to the portions and foods you should be eating. My Plate is based on the same rules as the food pyramid. You still need your daily intake of grains, proteins, vegetables, fruits, and dairy. And yes, you still need to limit our high sugar and high fat foods.

If you are like others, you question whether the food pyramid or My Plate can actual work for you. You may have trouble achieving the daily intake of servings and variety of foods suggested.

My tips to you: visually make sections in your plate. Make sure your vegetables and lean proteins take up most of your plate. Give a portion to fruits and a small portion to slow-release carbohydrates (for example, whole grains).

I like to make sure my veggies are not over cooked and that I eat the skin on my fruit most of the time. The fiber that crunchy veggies and fruit skin provides will help move everything smoothly through your digestive system.

Take control of your portion sizes and what foods you eat. This is an important part of your healthy weight solution.

For more information on the MyPlate program visit