Portions. How much, for example, is a cup of pasta? Or a cup of green salad? Or a cup of ice cream?
Well, if you’re at home you can easily measure out a cup. But what if you’re not at home? What if you’re out for dinner or at a picnic? How do you determine what a portion is?
Never fear. Over at Calorie Counts, you can get some guesstimates for portions for some foods.
Let’s take one from each of the groups listed.
The Grain Group
1 cup of pasta/spaghetti (2 ounces) —- a fist
The Vegetable Group
1 medium baked potato (1 cup) —- computer mouse or a fist
The Fruit Group
1/2 cup of grapes (15 grapes) —- light bulb
The Milk Group
1 cup of ice cream — baseball
The Meat and Beans Group
3 ounces cooked meat, fish, poultry —- your palm, a deck of cards or a cassette tape (remember those!)
1 ounce of pretzels —- two handfuls
The website has more examples and I’m sure you can find other examples on the web. It does put it in perspective, doesn’t it, just how much a portion is.
Why am I so interested in portions? Well, I had a nice little chat with a dietitian last week and she pretty much read me the riot act. Eat better, move more or else.
So I’m paying more attention to portions. The food regimen she put me on doesn’t necessarily prohibit foods, although, of course, I must avoid high fat, bad fat, high carbs, bad carbs, etc, etc, etc, but watching portions is a key factor.
You can read more here about how the much larger portions you find at your local restaurant or fast food joint are a contributing factor to the obesity problem in this country.
For example, twenty years ago a bagel was 3 inches. Now it’s twice that size. 6 inches. A cheeseburger was 4.5 oz. Now, it’s 8 oz. The website also advises keeping most food portions, if you really have no idea how much to eat of something, no larger than the size of your fist.