Many people throw up their hands in despair when six servings of grain products are mentioned as a minimum daily goal. But you may already be eating more than you think.
For example, a slice of bread is one serving, so a sandwich would equal two servings. A serving is half a hamburger bun, English muffin or bagel, but if you eat the whole instead of the half, that's two servings, too. A serving of rice or pasta is 1/2 cup, so that plate of spaghetti probably holds two servings - maybe more. For ready-to-eat cereals, the serving size is one ounce - from 3/4 to 1 cup - but many people start the day with bowls of cereal that contain at least twice that amount.For vegetables the serving size is 1/2 cup of cooked vegetables, 1 cup of raw, leafy vegetables such as salad greens, 3/4 cup vegetable juice or one medium potato. Thus a large helping of salad from the salad bar, or a super-sized baked potato would easily count as two servings.
For fruits, a medium apple, banana or orange would count as a serving, as would 1/2 cup of chopped, cooked or canned fruit, or 3/4 cup of fruit juice. That large wedge of watermelon might easily equal two cups of "chopped" fruit or four servings.
And don't forget the foods you eat in combinations. The tomato sauce on the pizza, for example, belongs in the vegetable group, while the crust counts toward the grain group. The sliced strawberries on the strawberry shortcake are part of the fruit group, while the shortcake itself is part of the grain group. It all adds up more quickly than you think.
(Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service.)