Video:Food Portion Controlwith Dr. Mona Khanna
One of the hardest things about eating a healthy diet is keeping portions under control. Do you know what one serving of dairy should be? Find out with Dr. Mona Khanna.See Transcript
Transcript:Food Portion Control
Portion Control in the 1980s Versus TodayIf you were a time traveler who suddenly transported from the 1980s to the present, you'd probably be surprised that cell phones are so common and you might be stunned by the price of gas. But the real shock would be the size of the food portions we eat.
Recent studies show that there has been a dramatic increase in the size of servings during the last 20 years. In many cases, restaurant servings are twice what they used to be. And as we've gotten used to consuming larger amounts of food, it's not surprising that we face what many health professionals are calling an obesity epidemic.
Fast Food Portion ControlFortunately, there are a number of things you can do to regain control of the amount of food you eat. In fast food restaurants, start by forgoing anything on the menu that is mega, super, or large. Going from an extra large soft drink to a 32-ounce large can save you 100 calories, but you'll still be gulping down 300 calories. Move to a small and you're down to 16 ounces and 150 calories. Or try the kids meal-the soft drink is a more reasonable 12 ounces and the rest of the meal includes servings were standard adult portions 20 years ago.
Restaurant Portion ControlIn a sit-down restaurant, plan on eating half of the food on your plate. To keep yourself honest, you might even get a doggie bag before you start eating and pack up half your meal as soon as it is served.
Portion Control at HomeAt home, it helps to know the difference between portion size and serving size. Packaged food products are labeled with nutritional information such as calories and grams of fat, based on a standard serving size. But most of us eat more than that when we snack. The trick is to measure out a standard serving onto a plate before you start eating. Then you'll know how the amount you normally eat compares. And how many calories you are really consuming.
Portion Control by Serving SizeEven then, it turns out that food label standard servings are often larger than the servings recommended by the Food Guide Pyramid from the USDA.
For example, the pyramid calls for two to three servings a day of meat, fish, eggs, dried beans, or nuts. So how much is one serving of, say, red meat? Nope, it's not a double burger with bacon. The correct answer? Three ounces. That's a piece of meat about the size of a deck of cards.
The pyramid also calls for two to four servings of dairy. The standard serving for cheese is one ounce. That's a chunk about the size of your thumb. For one-cup servings think of a tennis ball. For a half cup picture a small fist.
Regain Portion ControlTaken together, these ideas can help you and your family return from the land of over-sized meals. And while that may not be enough to restore your waistline to 1980s proportions, it will certainly get you back on track to healthier eating habits.
I'm Dr. Mona Khanna, About Health.
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