You've decided to prepare your grocery shopping list.You have a budget and you have some time to go grocery shopping.

You want to to buy what is necessary to prepare healthy, nutritious meals

What should I buy and how much?

Remember healthy eating is not about having plenty to eat, but about eating the right foods from the right food groups.

  1. Firstly buy food from the four food groups.
  2. Secondly you may not need as much as you think you do, to eat well
  3. Thirdly you may need to limit some you already eat and increase others.

The four food groups are: vegetables and fruit, grain products, milk and milk alternatives and meat amd meat alternatives.

A serving of food product may not be as large as you think.

A 'Vegetable and Fruit' serving is:

  • 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables
  • 1 fruit-an apple, orange, grapefruit, etc
  • 1/2 cup cooked leafy vegetables
  • 125 ml fruit juice (100%)
  • 1/2 cup frozen, canned or fresh vegetables/fruit

A serving of Grain Products is:
  • 1 slice of bread
  • 1/2 bagel, pita or tortilla
  • 1/2 cup cooked rice, bulgur or quinoa
  • 1/2 cup cooked pasta or couscous
  • Cold cereals 30g
  • Hot cereals 175 ml ( 3/4 cup)

A Serving of Milk and Milk products is:

  • 175 g yogurt
  • 250 ml fresh or powdered milk
  • 125ml evaporated milk
  • 250 ml fortified soy beverage
  • 50g cheese
  • 175 g kefir

Milk can be canned, powdered, evaporated or condensed. 

A serving of 'Meat Products' is:
  • 75g lean meat or poultry
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup cooked legumes
  • 3/4 cup tofu
  • 2 +1/2 oz of fish
Omega-3 present in fish reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.

The serving sizes are the same for everyone.

The number of servings required daily is based on age and gender; pregnant and nursing mothers have additional requirements.

Oils & Fat

The type of fats you eat is as important as the amount. Polyunsaturated and Monounsaturated fats are good sources of Omega- 3 and Omega-6. A certain amount is required for a healthy diet.

Saturated and trans fat, on the other hand, can contribute to cardiovascular disease. We want to limit these.

To ensure you get the type and amount in your diet, include 30-45ml of unsaturated fat each day. This can be fat or oils used in salad dressing, oil used for cooking, soft margarine at the table or mayonnaise.

 The servings guide has been taken from Canada Food Guide.

Canada Food Guide uses the rainbow to communicate healthy eating to consumers.

By using this guide one can shop wisely, prepare healthier meals and prevent diseases.