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Grab a Date to Shrink your Plate

  • 25th April 2011 |
  • Author: Iris

Healthy Monday Tip – April 25, 2011

Get fit and well by eating healthy portionsEating out this week?   Cut calories and fat by splitting oversized portions with a friend.   If you’re dining solo, choose a healthy  appetizer or two side dishes instead.   Your meal will be better for you and just as satisfying.

Food portions have changed over the past 20 years.  Getting fit and maintaining a healthy weight is difficult when there is portion distortion.  Anyone eating on the run or at restaurants has probably noticed that food portions have gotten larger.  Some portions are called “super size”, while others have simply grown in size and provide enough food for at least two people.

Waistlines and body weight have grown along with the increase in portion size.  The next time you eat on the run, think twice about the food portions offered to you.  A “portion” can be thought of as the amount of a specific food you choose to eat for dinner, snack or other eating occasion.

A “serving” is a unit of measure used to describe the amount of food recommended from each food group.  It is the amount of food listed on the Nutrition Facts panel on packaged food or the amount of food recommended in the Food Guide Pyramid and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

The following chart will give you an idea of what one serving size looks like:

1 cup of cereal flakes = fist
1 pancake = compact disc
½ cup of cooked rice, pasta, or potato = ½ baseball
1 slice of bread = cassette tape
1 piece of cornbread = bar of soap

1 cup of salad greens = baseball
1 baked potato = fist
1 med. fruit = baseball
½ cup of fresh fruit = ½ baseball
¼ cup of raisins = large egg

1½ oz. cheese = 4 stacked dice or 2 cheese slices
½ cup of ice cream = ½ baseball

3 oz. meat, fish, and poultry = deck of cards
3 oz. grilled/baked fish = checkbook
2 Tbsp. peanut butter = ping pong ball

1 tsp. margarine or spreads = 1 dice

Quick Recap

A portion is the amount of food that you choose to eat for a meal or snack. It can be big or small—you decide.  A serving is a measured amount of food or drink, such as one slice of bread or one cup (eight ounces) of milk.

Many foods that come as a single portion actually contain multiple servings. For example, look at the label of a 20-ounce soda (typically consumed as one portion), and you’ll see that it has 2.5 servings in it. A 3-ounce bag of chips—which some would consider a single portion—contains 3 servings.

Pay attention to your portion sizes and the servings recommended on packaging in order to maintain or lose weight.  Because portion sizes have practically doubled over the past 20 years, we have gained weight and find it much more difficult to get fit and well.  Cut those portion sizes in half and double up on the exercise routines!.

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