Healthy Foods List and Healthy Portion Sizes

June 26, 2019

What foods would I consider healthy?

 

I talk a lot about more advanced dieting methods but this conversation is all about the basics!

 

I’ll answer questions like: what constitutes a food as healthy? What foods do I consider healthy? How much is a healthy portion size?

 

Ready to take it back to basics and freshen up your knowledge on what is and isn’t healthy? Let’s dive in!

 

First, I must say that “healthy” is a relative term and will mean something different to everyone. Therefore I am only sharing what I believe healthy food is and isn’t. You may have a different view or a different way of doing things and I respect that!

 

To me a healthy food is something that meets this criteria:

-Has minimal ingredients (less that 5-10)

-Has little to no added preservatives, colorings, artificial sweeteners or fillers

-Is high in vitamins and minerals

-Keeps you satisfied for a reasonable amount of time

-Provides balanced energy

-Is as close to its most natural state as possible (the difference between an Apple and Apple juice)

 

To me, healthy food isn’t:

-Loaded with sugar (with the exception of fruit)

-Created in a factory

-Highly processed

-Low in vitamins and minerals

-Treated with chemicals and pesticides

-Something that causes an energy crash

-Loaded with thickeners, fillers, artificial sweeteners, hidden sugars, preservatives and colorings

 

So what foods do I consider healthy? Since the list is quite long I’ll break down my top healthy options for protein, carbohydrates, fats and vegan options.

 

Protein:

Chicken breast

Fish and seafood

Lean beef and lean sirloin steak

Lean turkey breast or ground

Eggs and egg whites

Greek yogurt

High quality cheese

 

Carbohydrates:

All vegetables and fruits

Grains like rice, oats and quinoa

Potatoes

Beans

Whole wheat pasta

Seed and oat based breads

 

Fats:

Avocado

Coconut oil

Nuts

Butter or Ghee

Olives and olive oil

Pesto

 

Vegan high protein options:

Firm tofu

Beans

Quinoa

Lentils

High protein pasta

 

Tip: Shop the perimeter of the grocery store for the most wholesome options

 

There are some things on this list such as butter, pasta and cheese that may not strike you as conventionally healthy but I believe in consuming a wide array of foods that are high in nutrients, in moderation, therefore have included these in my lists.

 

Keep in mind that some protein sources are also fat sources, such as salmon, beef, steak, pork and full fat dairy products. Always check the nutrition labels and be mindful of consuming too much saturated and trans fats, which are not the best fats for you as opposed to mono and poly-unsaturated fats.

 

Some carb sources can also be protein sources such as beans, lentils and quinoa.

 

Now let's move on to portion sizes which can be tricky for a lot of people. Like the word "healthy", portion sizes are all relative to your personal body and hunger levels. If you're taller and heavier you may need a larger portion size to satisfy and maintain your weight, and if you're a more petite person you may need less to satisfy and maintain your weight. Here are some recommendations for portion sizes, but feel free to add or subtract ounces as you see fit for your personal body and appetite.

 

For proteins:

4-6 oz for females

6-8 oz for males

 

For carbohydrates:

4-6 oz for females

6-8 oz for males

 

For vegetables:

As much as desired

 

For fruit:

1 cup or 8 oz for a serving

 

For fats:

2 tbs or 1 oz for females

4 tbs or 2 oz for males

 

I recommend starting on the lower end and seeing how you feel (less is more!) and then if you need more try a bigger portion size or add more ounces to your meal. 

 

Here is a helpful conversion chart:

 

 


The most important conversions you need to know is:

4 oz = 1/2 cup

8 oz = 1 cup

2 tbs = 1 oz

4 tbs = 1/4 cup

 

When it comes to measuring food here are some things to keep in mind: 

-Weighing food raw vs cooked will yield different nutrition facts so be sure that if you're tracking it you type Raw or Cooked after the food name for the most accurate data

-A food scale is more accurate than measuring cups, but both work

-Your palm is about the size of 4 oz

-Your thumb is about the size of 1 oz or 2 tbs

-A cupped palm is about 1/2 cup

 

And there you have it, a comprehensive guide to what foods are healthy and how to find healthy foods and what portion sizes are recommended for males and females!

 

Let me know what questions you have and if you need any more recommendations for healthy options!

 

I hope this was helpful!

 

Best,

Leah Peters

Leahpetersfitness.com

 

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