A word of caution here though: heart healthy and beneficial does not equal calorie free. There are still calories in olive oil- plenty of them.The government changes the basic food groups every now and then. Now they are a fat laden, greasy mess no healthier than a potato chip. Each serving size guideline is different.
A healthy meal can end with a healthy dessert too. Light olive oil refers to flavor and color not to the amount of calories. If you are still hungry and want something sweet, crunch on an apple (1 fruit), a serving of yogurt (1 dairy) or a 100 calorie pack of pudding. Zucchini for instance is a very healthy vegetable- until they get dipped into batter and then deep fried. Make sure that you are mindful of portion sizes which can ruin even the best meal, and be aware that preparation is just as important as the menu itself. (Technically, this could count as dairy as well, but let's be realistic, it's a treat. Now, that is what I call a good, healthy meal.)
Healthy meals contain a protein, a starch, and possibly several vegetable and fruits. An even healthier dessert option: a small slice of fat free angel food cake with a selection of berries and the smallest dab of whipped topping. None of them go away, their importance just gets smaller and smaller. Don't get into the mindset that if you are trying to eat healthfully that you will have to give up that precious moment at the end of the meal when a delicious goodie is brought to you- it is simply not true.
The food pyramid says that we should each be eating: three or more servings of vegetables, two- four servings of fruits, four-eight servings of grains and starchy vegetables, two-three servings each of milk and dairy and fish, poultry and meat alternatives, one-three servings of fats and two or less servings of sweets and treats. Bake your own cakes and you can limit the amount of fat that gets put into them- use applesauce in equal portions to the fat that is called for, and use cooking spray instead of greasing the pans. Of course, the serving size for a growing boy of sixteen will be different from say a baby of one year, or a woman of sixty for that matter. For instance, lunch could be a turkey (1 meat) sandwich on two slices of whole-wheat bread Trace Heating Factory(2 grain) with tomato and lettuce (2 vegetable). While the emphasis is on the theory that there are no bad foods, there are better, healthier foods that should be focused on.
What about fats? You shouldn't include any at all in a healthy meal, right? Nope, you are wrong on that one. Keep your portions small, and even chocolate cake can fit into your healthy meal. Pair this with a cold, 8 ounce glass of milk (1dairy) and a side of crunchy, baby carrots,( 1 vegetable, bringing you up to 3 for this meal alone).
For optimum health, most of your main meals during the day should contain a little of each food group. Olive oil is a heart healthy choice, filled with Omega 3 fatty acids which have been proven to improve heart function.