Portion Sizes Matter

So, last week we talked about nutrition and some small changes that people can make to start living a healthier and more active lifestyle. Now let’s talk about how much you really are eating. It does no good to eat that healthy, delicious salmon if you’re eating the whole filet and not the right serving size.

First, let’s have a vocabulary lesson. The National Institutes of Health  portion as the amount of food that you choose to eat for a meal or snack. It can be big or small, you decide. Portions are completely under our control. A serving size is a measured amount of food or drink, such as one slice of bread or one cup (eight ounces) of milk.

The table below gives you some examples of serving sizes that the American Heart Association recommends:

Now that you have seen some of the recommendations, how do your eating habits line up? Do you see areas that need improving? And no, French fries and ketchup do not count as vegetables. But that doesn’t mean you can never have them, just everything in moderation.

It is great that we have guidelines, but let’s be honest here: we don’t carry around scales, measuring spoons or cups when we go out. So having visual idea is good to have in your head on what a portion size actually is. Using your hands as a reference is an easy way to guide yourself into eating healthier. The Daily Mail has this great hand chart showing you what different sizes look like based on your hands and fingers. Yes, I know we all have different sized hands, but this is just for reference.

Who knew that your hands could help you gain a better idea on how much food you should eat? I hope that this little bit of information helps you commit to better eating habits. Just remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day, and creating new habits takes time.

The contents of this website are for educational purposes and are not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The Nutrition Source does not recommend or endorse any products.

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