Healthy Children - November 2018

Nutrients and Health Benefits

Why is it important to make lean or low-fat choices from the Protein Foods Group?

Foods in the meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, and seed group provide nutrients that are vital for health and maintenance of your body. However, choosing foods from this group that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol may have health implications.

The chart below lists specific amounts that count as 1 ounce equivalent in the Protein Foods Group towards your daily-recommended intake:

 

The amount that counts as 1 ounce equivalent in the Protein Foods Group

Common portions and ounce equivalents

Meats

-1 ounce cooked lean beef
-1 ounce cooked lean pork or ham

-1 small steak (filet) = 3/12 to 4 ounce equivalents

-1 small lean hamburger = 2 to 3-ounce equivalents

Poultry

-1 ounce cooked chicken or turkey, without skin

-1 sandwich slice of turkey

-1 small chicken breast = 3-ounce equivalent

Seafood

-1 ounce cooked fish or shellfish

-1 can of tuna, drained = 3 to 4 ounces
-1 salmon steak = 4 to 6 ounces
-1 small trout = 3 ounces

Eggs

-1 egg

-3 egg whites = 2 ounces
-3 egg yolks = 1 ounce

Nuts & Seeds

-½ ounce of nuts (12 almonds, 24 pistachios, 7 walnut halves)
-½ ounce of seeds (pumpkin, sunflower, or squash seeds, hulled, roasted)
-1 tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter

-1 ounce of nuts or seeds = 2-ounce equivalents

Beans & Peas

-¼ cup of cooked beans (black, kidney, pinto, or white beans)
-¼ cup of cooked peas (chickpeas, cowpeas, lentils, or split peas)
-¼ cup of baked beans, refried beans
-¼ cup of tofu
-1 ox. Tempeh, cooked
-¼ cup roasted soybeans, 1 falafel patty (4oz)
-2 tablespoons hummus

-1 cup split pea soup = 2 ounces
-1 cup lentil soup = 2 ounces
-1 cup bean soup = 2 ounces
-1 soy or bean burger patty = 2 ounces

Nutrients

  • Diets that are high in saturated fats raise “bad” cholesterol levels in the blood. The “bad” cholesterol is called LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. High LDL cholesterol, in turn, increases the risk of coronary heart disease. Some food choices in this group are high in saturated fat. These include fatty cuts or beef, pork, and lamb; regular (75% to 85% lean) ground beef; regular sausages; hot dogs, and bacon; some luncheon meats such as regular bologna and salami; and some poultry such as duck. To keep blood cholesterol levels healthy, limit the amount of these foods you eat.
  • Diets that are high in cholesterol can raise LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. Cholesterol is only found in foods from animal sources. Some foods from this group are high in cholesterol. These include egg yolks (egg whites are cholesterol-free) and organ meats such as liver and giblets. To help keep blood cholesterol levels healthy, limit the amount of these foods you eat.
  • A high intake of fats makes it difficult to avoid consuming more calories than are needed.

Why is it important to eat 8 ounces of seafood per week?

  • Seafood contains a range of nutrients, notably omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA. Eating about 8 ounces per week of a variety of seafood contributes to the prevention of heart disease. Smaller amounts of seafood are recommended for young children.