Healthy Eating Meal Plan for Adult Woman

Eating a healthy diet and being physically active are foundation for good health. Performing at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity for at least 5 days a week would promote health and reduce the risk of developing certain chronic diseases. Brisk walking is an example of moderate-intensity exercise; try to aim your walking speed which is fast enough to complete 6-9 rounds of 400-meters standard running track in 30 minutes.

For healthy diet, how much food should an average adult woman eat? How can we  make healthier food choice in daily living? Here are some practical tips for you.

Remarks:

  • The following meal plan is suitable for an adult woman who has relatively low occupational physical activity level such as office worker or housewife, and engages in 30-60 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity in their leisure time every day.
  • Example(s) of a serving: a bowl = 250 - 300 ml;1 cup = 240ml

Food Group: Grains

Servings per day (portion): 3-4

Example(s) of a serving:

  • Cooked:
    • 1 bowl of rice
    • 1 bowl of rice noodles
    • 1 ¼ bowls of noodles
    • 1 ½ bowls of spaghetti/ macaroni
    • 2 slices of bread (8 slices per pound)
    • 1 ¼ bowls of corn kernels
    • 5 pieces (egg-sized) of potato/ taro
  • 10 tablespoons (70 g) dried / uncooked oatmeal

What are the better choices

  • Choose brown rice and whole-meal bread instead of white rice or white bread. Whole-grain foods are rich in dietary fibre which make you feel full and help prevent constipation
  • Avoid high-fat grain products, e.g. oil noodles (yau mien), instant noodles, pastries, meat-filled buns, cocktail bun, cakes, cookies, cream-filled biscuits
  • Potato, sweet potato, taro and corn are rich in carbohydrates. When consuming these foods, remember to reduce the amount of other grain products to avoid excessive energy intake

Food Group: Vegetables

Servings per day (portion): at least 3-4

Example(s) of a serving:

  • ½ bowl of cooked vegetables
  • 1 bowl of uncooked vegetables

What are the better choices

  • Avoid preserved vegetables, e.g. pickles, preserved mustard
  • Avoid overcooking to minimize nutrient loss
  • Eat a colourful variety of vegetables. They are abundant in nutrients and phytochemicals

Food Group: Fruits

Servings per day (portion): at least 2

Example(s) of a serving:

  • 1 medium size fruit (e.g. apple/ pear/ orange of size of a lady’s fist)
  • 2 plums/ kiwi fruits
  • ½ cup of diced fruit

What are the better choices

  • Choose whole fresh fruit. They are good source of dietary fibre which makes you feel full
  • Choose dried fruit without added sugar
  • Avoid canned fruit in syrup, sweetened fruit juice, preserved (sweetened) dried fruit
  • Eat a colourful variety of fruits. They are abundant in nutrients and phytochemicals

Food Group: Meat, fish, eggs and alternatives

Servings per day (portion): 5-6

Example(s) of a serving:

  • 40 g or approximately 1 tael of raw meat (the size of a table tennis ball)
  • 30 g cooked meat
  • 1 chicken egg
  • ¼ block of firm tofu
  • 4 tablespoons of cooked soya beans or 6-8 tablespoons of other cooked beans

What are the better choices

  • Remove the skin and trim off visible fat from meat or poultry
  • Limit consumption of fatty meats (e.g. brisket, chicken feet, offal, siu-mai/lo-mai) and fried foods (e.g. fried bean curd sheet, bean curd puff)
  • Avoid processed meats that are preserved by curing, smoking or chemical preservatives (e.g. ham, cured bacon, sausage, canned meat)
  • Try not to consume large amount of red meat (beef, lamb and pork) and limit your consumption of red meat under 500g (cooked weight) per week(1)

(1)Recommendations of the World Cancer Research Fund. http://www.wcrf.org/int/research-we-fund/our-cancer-prevention-recommendations

Food Group: Milk and alternatives

Servings per day (portion): 1-2

Example(s) of a serving:

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 2 slices of processed cheese
  • 1 carton (150g) of yoghurt
  • 1 cup of calcium fortified soy milk

What are the better choices

  • Choose products that are low-fat or fat-free
  • Avoid products with added sugar, e.g. chocolate or fruit flavoured milk, condensed milk, etc
  • If you do not consume dairy products , you can choose the following calcium-rich foods to increase your calcium intake (one serving provides calcium amount similar to 1 cup of milk):
    • ½ block of firm tofu, set with calcium salt (≈ 175 g)
    • 100 g dried bean curd
    • 3 tablespoons of sesame
    • Kale/ bok choi 200 g (≈ 5 taels) / choy sum 300g

Food Group: Oil, fat, sugar, salt

Servings per day (portion): in moderation

Example(s) of a serving:

  • Vegetable oils are recommended for cooking. Limit to 2 teaspoons per meal per person
  • Choose natural herbs and spices (e.g. ginger, spring onion, garlic and pepper) to replace salt, sauces or gravies which have high sodium content
  • Avoid preserved foods (e.g. preserved bean curd, salted eggs, salted fish, pickles, preserved mustard)
  • Avoid sugary beverages. Limit your intake of high sugar foods such as desserts and have it only occasionally. An average Hong Kong woman should limit sugar intake to no more than 7 teaspoons a day. One regular 250ml packaged drink contains approximately 6 teaspoons sugar.
  • Read food labels when choosing pre-packaged foods. Look for low fat, low sodium and low sugar options

Food Group: Fluid

Servings per day (portion): 6-8 cups

Example(s) of a serving:

Choose water, light plain tea and clear soup

(Published 10/2015)