Monday, October 31, 2011

Size Matters

Remember this post on some scary facts about today’s health? Or I guess lack of health? And this sweet website on portion distortion? Well, I was flipping through a magazine last week and whatdayaknow…more info on this big problem of portion mix-ups.They recruited two dozen volunteers and asked them to help themselves to five foods that are linked with some great health benefits. Check out what happened:


1. Whole Grain Cereal: people who eat breakfast tend to have healthier body weights and eat more fiber

Recommended serving size: 3/4 c (120 calories)

Testers’ Average Serving: 1 1/2 c (240 calories)

Tips? Buy a bowl that tells you your portion size, or always use a measuring cup. Sometimes you are really hungry and a couple servings is okay…but you need to KNOW you are eating more than one serving.


2. Peanuts: Nuts are high in calories and healthy fats, and studies show that people who eat them regularly tend to be leaner than those who don’t.

Recommended serving size: 1 oz (170 calories)

Testers’ Average Serving: 1.42 oz (240 calories)

Tips? Count them out. There are about 28 peanuts in a 1-ounce serving.


3. Dark Chocolate: nutrition experts say a small daily treat will keep dieters from feeling deprived…dark chocolate is a good choice since it delivers far more heart healthy flavonoids and is more satisfying

Recommended Serving Size: 1.45 oz (250 calories)

Testers’ Average Serving: 1.45 oz (250 calories) – right on!

Tips? Buy singly wrapped chocolates and stop at one. If you have a full bar, it is harder to stop at one bite. Also, most servings of chocolate are about 250 calories. If you’re really trying to lose weight, just take a taste so you aren’t loading up on the calories.


4. Whole Grain Pasta: research has shown that people who eat more whole grains, like whole wheat pasta, are less likely to be overweight and tend to have less body fat.

Recommended Serving Size: 1 cup cooked (200 calories)

Testers’ Average Serving: 2 cups cooked (400 calories)

Testers’ BIGGEST Serving: 3 cups cooked (600 calories!)

Tips? Add vegetables to pump up the volume of your meal and make you feel fuller. You can even puree vegetables to make your own healthy sauce for the pasta. Also, select a satisfying shape – tiny shells or spaghetti noodles pack down in your bowl so you want more. Try bigger shapes like ziti or penne.

So maybe it’s time we start measuring a bit more!


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