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Food as Fuel

A healthy, balanced diet gives your body nutrients. Nutrients are like fuel for your body. They give you energy. And they keep your heart beating, your brain active, and your muscles working. They also help to build and strengthen bones, muscles, and other body tissues. 

Your body needs three major nutrients for energy. These are carbohydrates, protein, and fat. 

Your body needs all three of these nutrients to be healthy. If you choose a good mix of foods, you can help your body get the right amounts of carbohydrates, protein, and fat. It can also keep you at a healthy weight.

 

Eat a balanced diet 

◦ 5 to 8 ounces of bread, cereal, crackers, rice, or pasta. An ounce is about 1 slice of bread, 1 cup of breakfast cereal, or ½ cup of cooked rice, cereal, or pasta. Choose whole-grain products for at least half of your grain servings. 

◦ 2 to 3 cups of vegetables. Be sure to include: 

▪ Dark green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach. 

▪ Orange vegetables such as carrots and sweet potatoes. 

◦ 1½ to 2 cups of fresh, frozen, or canned fruit. A large banana, a large orange, or a small apple equals 1 cup. 

◦ 3 cups of nonfat or low-fat milk, yogurt, or other milk products. 

◦ 5 to 6½ ounces of protein foods. These include chicken, fish, lean meat, beans, nuts, and seeds. One egg equals 1 ounce of meat, poultry, or fish. A ½ cup of cooked beans equals 2 ounces of protein. 

Stay fueled all-day 

©2006-2020 Healthwise, Incorporated. 

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