• Dr. Paul Kasenene

Learn the proportions and percentages of each food you need in your diet


One of the things my clients often ask is “what should I serve on my plate?” While many of us have a good idea what we should eat, getting the proportions right and knowing how to practically put them on your plate can be a challenge.

Today, I will keep this short.

For a guide on how to structure your plate, use this summary as well as my food plate guide.

  • Half of the food on your plate should consist of the micronutrient-rich non-starchy vegetables or fruit. The non-starchy vegetables such as spinach, cabbage and other greens should be the more predominant of the two. Seeds are also micronutrient-rich and should be a part of this section of your plate.

  • A quarter of the food should consist of beans and legumes, all types of nuts (not only groundnuts) and occasionally animal foods. These are typically what you use for sauce and are generally richer in protein and fat.

  • A quarter of the food on your plate should consist of grains such as millet and brown rice and/or starchy vegetables such as pumpkin and sweet potatoes. These are the carbohydrate-rich foods.

  • Other foods that can be included in small quantities and in different ways include condiments, spices, herbs, and healthy oils.

For the proportions of food from each food group use this summary together with my food pyramid.

  • Animal foods – Approximately 2–5% (A maximum of 10% of dietary calories)

All animal foods including meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy and any other animal foods should comprise no more than 5% of your total food (no more than 10% of your dietary calories), the smaller the quantity the better for your health. The choice of which animal foods is up to you.

  • Plant foods – A minimum of 95% of your food

There are different types of plant food groups. These are the approximate percentages that should come from each group.



  • Non-starchy vegetables – 30–50%

  • Fruits – 15–30%

  • Grains and starchy vegetables – 15–30%

  • Beans and other legumes – 10–25%

  • Nuts and Seeds – 10–20%

  • Spices, salt, herbs, condiments – in small amounts

  • Healthy oils – in small amounts

  • All other foods including refined and processed foods – infrequently, but no more than 10% of your diet

So, there you are. I hope that these simple guides are easy to understand and will help you structure your plate and meals better. They can be a good quick reference guide to help you maintain eating a healthy diet.

These guides are also explained more in my book EAT YOUR WAY TO WELLNESS. Hopefully, you already have your copy. If not, please get one and encourage your friends to get one too.

Christmas is just around the corner. Consider this as a gift to your loved ones, especially during this time of COVID-19.

To get more information about the book, visit my website www.drkasenene.com, call +256 708 222999 / +256 787 222991 or click here to make an order.

Get a copy

Share this email to help others learn about these healthy eating guides. Wishing you health and happiness Dr. Paul Kasenene



“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”

Ann Wigmore

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