Health & Safety

September 6, 2012

Choose My Plate: Nutrition facts

Story by Cpl. Shelby Shields
Desert Warrior Staff
Photo by

Getting the right amounts of daily nutrients can be a challenge, and may be the reason many people choose to turn to supplements to fill in the missing gaps.

Station health educator Nikki Dallam shares easy ways to ensure healthy food choices by using the MyPlate method.

“MyPlate is the new food pyramid,” said Dallam. “It’s a great visual tool for helping people make the right food choices, by showing them what their plate should look like at every meal.”

According to Dallam and the new MyPlate diagram at least half of your daily intake should be fruits and vegetables, approximately five to nine servings.

“A lot of people get intimidated by the number of servings but it’s really not that hard to get them in,” said Dallam. “A serving size is about a half cup, an easy way to measure is knowing the size of your fist is approximately one cup, so eating an apple the size of your fist is knocking out two of your daily servings.”

The other half of daily food intake is divided into grains, protein and a small amount of dairy.

“Your grains should be whole grains and whole wheat you want to stay away from the refined sugars you often find in white bread and pasta,” added Dallam. “For protein try and stick to lean protein like chicken or turkey, you don’t have to cut out red meat just cut back. Don’t forget about protein from other sources like legumes (beans) and nuts. And with your dairy low-fat to non-fat is always the better option.”

Staying away from unnecessary sugars found in sodas, candy and alcohol will also help maintain a balanced diet.

“Having a healthy diet is so important,” stressed Dallam. “Especially the fruits and vegetables, they carry the vitamins and minerals your body needs and if you get the recommended amount per day there really is no need for additional supplements unless a doctor recommends them.”

For more information on daily food intake visit or contact Nikki Dallam at (928) 269-6642.

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