A Day's Worth of Food

A Day's Worth of Food


You get whole fruit instead of juice and intact whole grains in the oatmeal (with a cup of added fat-free milk—shown here in a glass—and a sprinkling of pecans and dried apricots and cranberries). Unsweetened coffee or tea (not shown) is unlimited.

Lunch and Afternoon Snack

A generous serving of greens plus apple slices, grapes, just an ounce of cheese, just 2 tablespoons of walnuts, and vinaigrette make a filling main-dish salad. Snack on hummus and peppers (or other veggies) if you want an afternoon snack or an appetizer before dinner.

Dinner and Evening Snack

Stir-fried veggies and tofu over brown rice with a side of edamame makes a quick and easy dinner. Dessert is two petite cookies. A cup of protein-rich, fat-free plain Greek yogurt garnished with blueberries, sliced banana, and just ¼ cup of granola makes a perfect snack. If your yogurt (or breakfast cereal) is sweetened with sugar, that’s your “Wild Card” (see below).


Below are the OmniHeart study’s targets for a day’s worth of food.1 The nutrient targets for a 2,100-calorie diet are:

  • sat fat: 14 g
  • protein: 105 g
  • fiber: at least 30 g
  • potassium: 4,700 mg
  • magnesium: 500 mg
  • calcium: 1,200 mg
  • sodium: no more than 2,300 mg.

Our day’s worth of food (shown above) roughly matches those targets. (1)-JAMA 294: 2455, 2005.

Vegetables and Fruit

11 servings per day
What’s 1 serving?

½ cup cooked vegetables
½ cup raw vegetables
1 cup salad greens
1 piece fruit
½ cup fresh fruit
¼ cup dried fruit



4 servings per day
What's 1 serving?

1 slice bread
½ cup cereal, pasta, or rice


Low-Fat Dairy

2 servings per day
What's 1 serving?

1 cup milk or yogurt
1½ oz. cheese


Legumes and Nuts

2 servings per day
What's 1 serving?

¼ cup nuts
½ cup cooked beans
4 oz. tofu


Poultry, Fish, and Meat

1 servings per day
What's 1 serving?

¼ lb. cooked


Oils and Fats

2 servings per day
What's 1 serving?

1 Tbs. oil
1 Tbs. margarine or mayo


Desserts and Sweets

2 servings per day
What's 1 serving?

1 small cookie
1 tsp. sugar


Wild Card

1 serving per day of
Poultry, Fish, & Meat
or Desserts & Sweets
or Oils & Fats
or Grains