Q: Recently I was in a nutrition class where the presenter talked about ounce equivalents when it comes to choosing grains and meats/beans. What is an “ounce equivalent”?
A: In the grains food group, it refers to the amount of a food counted as equal to a 1-ounce slice of bread. In the meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs and nuts food groups, it refers to the amount of food counted as equal to 1 ounce of cooked meat, poultry or fish.
Grains group: In general, 1 slice of bread, 1 cup of ready-to-eat cereal or 1/2 cup of cooked rice, cooked pasta or cooked cereal can be considered as 1 ounce equivalent from the grains group.
Here are more specific amounts that count as a 1-ounce equivalent in the grains group:
• 1 “mini” bagel
• 1 (2-inch diameter) biscuit
• 1/2 cup cooked bulgur
• 1 (2-1/2-by-1-1/4-by-1-1/4-inch) piece cornbread
• 5 whole-wheat crackers
• 2 rye crispbreads
• 7 square or round crackers
• 1/2 English muffin
• 1 (2 1/2-inch diameter) muffin
• 1 (4 1/2-inch diameter) pancake
• 3 cups popped popcorn
• 1 (6-inch diameter) flour or corn tortilla
Remember, based on a 2,000-calorie pattern, an individual can include a total of 6-ounce equivalents from the grain group per day. And make half of your grains whole!
Meat and beans group: In general, 1 ounce of meat, poultry or fish, 1/4 cup cooked dry beans, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon peanut or almond butter, or 1/2 ounce of nuts or seeds can be considered as 1-ounce equivalent from the meat and beans group.
Here are more specific amounts that count as a 1-ounce equivalent in the meats and beans group:
• 1 ounce cooked lean beef, pork or ham
• 1 ounce cooked chicken or turkey (without skin)
• 1 (4 1/2-by-2-1/2-by-1/8-inch) sandwich slice of turkey
• 1 ounce cooked fish or shell fish
• 12 almonds
• 24 pistachios
• 7 walnut halves
• 1/2 ounce of seeds (pumpkin, sunflower or squash seeds, hulled, roasted)
• 1/4 cup cooked dry beans (such as black, kidney, pinto or white beans)
• 1/4 cup cooked dry peas (such as chickpeas, cowpeas, lentils or split peas)
• 1/4 cup baked beans or refried beans
• 1/4 cup (about 2 ounces) tofu
• 1 ounce tempeh, cooked
• 1/4 cup roasted soybeans
• 1 (4 ounce) falafel patty
• 2 tablespoons hummus
Based on a 2,000-calorie pattern, an individual can include a total of 5 1/2 ounce equivalents from the meat and beans group per day. And remember to go lean with protein! Speaking of meats, if you are interested in learning more about the new growing selection of lean beef cuts in the marketplace and how to apply the right cooking techniques so your dining experience is not only healthy, but delicious, plan to attend the “hands-on” cooking class that I am leading on “Beef: Choices, Preparation and Flavor,” scheduled for 10:30 a.m. May 7 at the K-State Research & Extension-Douglas County Office, located on the fairgrounds. If you are interested in attending, please pre-register by calling 843-7058 by Monday. A $3 fee will be charged at the door to cover the samples of the beef dishes that the participants will assist in preparing.
— Susan Krumm is an Extension agent in family and consumer sciences with K-State Research and Extension-Douglas County, 2110 Harper St. She can be reached at 843-7058.