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Mayo Healthy Weight Food Pyramid

BillHartmann's picture

What I am taking about is the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid Tool.

If you go here and click on the Healthy weight you will see the basic pyramid.

But if you start here

And enter the numbers and in the next step it will be show a calorie goal and a the pyramid shows the recommended number of serving in each category. And if you put your mouse on a section of the pyramid it will give an example of service sizes for each food group.

But if you print it out it will give you a table listing the number of servings of each group for a range of calorie goals. And a 3 pages of list of what is a serving size in each food group. Which has been a big help to me. While my "pyramid" could use some tweaking my main problem is that just plain each too much. And I had no idea of serving size.

It lists a carbohydrate serving at 70 calories and the amount of different food for that serving.

And 110 calories per serving of protein/dairy.

And 45 calories per fat serving.

But some of the serving size are in are difficult to figure before hand. For example 1/2 cup of cooked pasta is one serving of carbs. And I don't want to measure the dry pasta and cook it and then measure how much I have ended up with. So I am trying to figure that from the package. It shows that it 2 oz of dry is 210 C so that would be 3 servings of carbs. Now it also includes 28 C of protein and 14 C of fat. But those are small enough to ignore.

But one that surprised me was Eggs.

1 large egg is 71 C total, 45 C from fat, and 24 C from proteins.

But that is listed as one serving of protein. Looking at the parts that is more like one serving of fat. And maybe 1.5 serving of protein.

One serving of egg whites is 4 (I assume large) eggs. But that is only 64 c, all from protein. So based on the 110 c per protein serving it should require 8 egg whites.

So yesterday I made an omelet yesterday with 1 jumbo egg and 2 jumbo egg whites. has nutrition on whole eggs from all sizes of eggs along with per cup, oz, and 100 grams.

The jumbo egg is 90 cal total, 56 from fat, and 32 from protein.

For the egg whites they only have large eggs, plus the per cup, oz, and 100 grams. So use the proportions between large and jumbo whole egss and;

For 2 eggs whites 40 cal, all from protein.

So would one treat still treat this as one serving of protein and ignore the large amount of fat?

And I have recipes that I would like to figure out.

Here is one example;
Manicotti with spinach and ricotta.

8 manicotte shells (have no idea of the cal or size until I see a package.
10 oz spinach (1/2 cup of cooked is 1 veg serving. So I could use this as 1 serving rounded off)
15 oz ricotta, reduced% 20fat. (one serving of protein is 3 oz so this would be 3 servings).
1 egg
1/2 cup of Parmesan (4 table spoons is 1 protein serving so I could figure that out)
1 cup part skim mozzarella (1/3 cup is 1 serving of protein so I could figure that out).
14 oz can diced tomatoes (1 medium fresh is one serving of vegetables. But looking at he website a can of tomatoes is 70 cal so that makes it about 3 servings).
60z can tomato sauce (the nutrition website shows that at 140 calories. So that would make it about 6 servings of vegies.)

But that takes a lot of work and some guessing.

But the recipe shows 312 cal per portion (makes 6).
90 cal from fat
132 from carbs
84 from protein.

So how can I use that to figure out the servings in the different food groups?

William the Geezer, the sequel to Billy the Kid - Shoe
. William the Geezer, the sequel to Billy the Kid - Shoe
BillHartmann's picture

Thanks, but that is way more detailed that I want to get into.

But their calorie charts are handy. They have a larger selection of foods and you aren't limited to just the one cup or oz.

William the Geezer, the sequel to Billy the Kid - Shoe
. William the Geezer, the sequel to Billy the Kid - Shoe
Gretchen's picture

I read a lot of what you posted, and your question seemed to be how to assess high fat or high protein "portions". I think they are counted in that category. Therefore, for example, your portion for an egg is one because of the fat content.  Just my opinion.


TracyK's picture

I think you're making this a little more complicated than it needs to be. Your egg would count as both a fat serving and a protein serving. Egg whites would be just a protein.

The manicotti would probably count as a veggie serving, most of a dairy serving, and most of a protein serving.

But for servings, estimates are acceptable. You do want to get familiar with what a "serving" looks like, though, because people usually vastly underestimate how much they're eating.

This is a great tool:

"I really do not know that anything has ever been more exciting than diagramming sentences."
                                                            --Gertrude Stein

BillHartmann's picture

That serving sized really helped a lot. I am not going to measure everything. And the visual size references gives me a quick check.

I don't use much "direct" fat in the first place and I am about at the guide line.

But I eat way to much protein. And most protein sources also include lots of fat.

And before I even saw that I had been cutting the sizes back. And I have lost about 8-9 lbs in the last 4 weeks. So I don't think that I need to get any more detailed.

William the Geezer, the sequel to Billy the Kid - Shoe
. William the Geezer, the sequel to Billy the Kid - Shoe
TracyK's picture

I'm with you... measuring gets old! I found the visual reference really helpful, I'm glad you did also. :-)

Another good principle is to visually divide your plate into thirds... 1/3 of it should be your protein, and the other 2/3 vegetables.

"I really do not know that anything has ever been more exciting than diagramming sentences."
                                                            --Gertrude Stein

cheek2cheek's picture

I am following a "diet" program that is helping me to turn around some long standing health problems. For someone who loves to cookand bake, it is challenging to think about food in a completely different way than I ever have.  I would encourage anyone who struggling with health problems, including weight issues, to consider exploring .  I have been on the "diet" for less than two weeks and I'm feeling so much better already I can scarcely believe it.  You can read about the entire program to better health by finding the link to the companion guide to the UltraMind Solution.

To your Health,


Edited 3/28/2009 6:27 pm ET by cheek2cheek

BillHartmann's picture

Thanks I will look into it.

William the Geezer, the sequel to Billy the Kid - Shoe
. William the Geezer, the sequel to Billy the Kid - Shoe
peteshlagor's picture

Biil, your engineer education is making this more difficult than is needed.  All you need is two words:

Weight Watchers. 

And their point system. 

I remember trying to lose my belly miniroll back in colidge.  Back 40 years ago.  Never did lose it, only made it bigger.

So's this past Xmas, I tell the rest of the family I'm taking my fat 87 year Momma back to Denver with me for 3 months.  And both of us are gonna be on WW.  One SIL has been on it for a few years and she is now half her old size.  My momma even had some success with it years ago.  But she's too blind now to see even what she's eating.

I just sent her back yesterday.  She's now at 204.  Came here at 228.  With fake knees and such, she is no candiate for exercise.  The other SIL will now join WW and take over for me taking my momma to the meetings.  (Her remarkable health improvements over that short time are the basis of a whole 'nother thread - let alone my DW's renewed interest.)

I started at 204.  I'm now at 177.  Less than 3 months later.  We went to every weekly meeting for the cheerleading and pep talk.  Very Important.   But it (at least for us) has been a lesson in portion control.

I used to think I was being good by drinking skim milk.  Lots of it.  Like 1/2 gallon a day.  When I started counting the WW points, I was shocked to realize my whole day's worth of nutriental intake was being exceeded by that milk alone.

One hasta weigh his portions to begin.  Then, you know what is what.  Now, I'll OD on veggies rather than that aforementioned milk or half of a Costco roasted chicken.

OH, it doesn't hurt to hire a personal trainer at the fitness show to keep you on a good exercise program. 

And, do your diet with a friend that can prepare and eat most of your meals with you.

It ain't rocket science.  And it works well.


whatscooking's picture

I couldn't work with the point system.  I didn't like figuring points for the food I was eating.  Too much to keep track of.  The Abs Diet Target worked for me.  It's a target, with rings around the bulls-eye.  In the center ring are foods you often, next is foods to eat occasionally, and finally foods to eat rarely.  It was easy to stick with and I just focus on the good, nutritionally dense things to eat.  I'm down 40lbs and I've kept it off for nearly 2 years.  I still keep my eye on the target. 

Chicago-style deep-dish:  "Pizza for people who just aren't fat enough"
Anthony Bourdain

Edited 3/30/2009 9:53 am by whatscooking

Chicago-style deep-dish:  "Pizza for people who just aren't fat enough"
Anthony Bourdain

davegs's picture

I stick with light mayo, i've

I stick with light mayo, i've been eating healthy the last few months and doing cardio a few times week plus following the seattle hcg weight loss program is helping me lose a few pounds a week.

ruzzel01's picture

Probably i can list down this

Probably i can list down this one, looks healthy for me.