PROPER PORTION

PROPER PORTION

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Eating is one of life’s simple pleasures.

People may eat for nourishment and enjoyment. But, eating for health is one of the best ways to savour the abundance that life has to offer.

Eating healthy will allow you to stay healthy lon­ger, feel better, achieve and maintain a normal body weight, and avoid nutrition related diseases such as type 2 diabe­tes, heart disease, certain cancers, gallstones, obesity and reduce your risk of complications from these diseases.

Navigating your way through the plethora of diet books, well-meaning advice, health claims and labels can make your head spin. Trying to decipher these messages

Eating healthy will allow you to stay healthy lon­ger, feel better, achieve and maintain a normal body weight, and avoid nutrition related diseases such as type 2 diabe­tes, heart disease, certain cancers, gallstones, obesity and reduce your risk of complications from these diseases.

Navigating your way through the plethora of diet books, well-meaning advice, health claims and labels can make your head spin. Trying to decipher these messages

can leave you feeling confused and at a standstill when making healthy choices. To avoid these pitfalls, let’s ex­amine a fundamental concept of healthy eating – proper portions.

A simple and effective way to ensure we are eating prop­er portions is to take your standard 10 to 12 inch plate and divide it into quarters. The goal is to fill each quarter with vegetables, starchy foods, and protein-based foods.

Each quarter represents your portion for that item.

Vegetables include all non-starchy vegetables such as peas, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, callaloo, okra, tomato, green, yellow and red peppers, romaine lettuce and mush­rooms. Vegetables should take up 2 quarters or half your plate. One quarter should include a vegetable green in co­lour, the other quarter a colourful vegetable.

Starchy foods include rice, potatoes, pasta, noodles, bread, cereal, corn, and baked beans. They also include starchy ground provisions like cassava, dasheen, eddoes, yam, sweet potato, green banana and plantain. Despite common consumption patterns, these food items should only take up a quarter of your plate.

Protein-based foods fill the last quarter of your plate. Protein-based foods include meat, fish or poultry, eggs, cheese, cottage cheese, nuts and seeds.

QWhat’s the difference between servings and portions?

A A serving is a standard amount set by government. These standards are used as guides for planning and evaluating diets and food supplies for individuals and populations. They also represent the amounts commonly consumed. For example, a serving of rice is half a cup. You may have heard of commonly used standards such as Canada’s Food Guide and have seen the Nutrition Facts Table on packaged foods.

A portion is the amount of food you choose to eat. Typically, 2 servings represents a portion. However, many people choose to eat a portion of rice which is equivalent to three servings of rice – taking up more than half the plate!

Q When eating out, how do I ensure that I am eating proper portions?

A Bigger is not better when it comes to proper portions. So, yes…size matters. When eating out, we are often served big meals on oversized plates that make our eyes pop and mouth water. Estimating how much to eat can be difficult. Use these simple tips to help you control your portions.

l Avoid terms such as “Mega”, “Super-Size” or “Extra Large”. Fill-up on vegetables (e.g. salad) instead of pop or fries.

l Plan ahead. If the places you typically eat do not offer vegetables or fruit, bring your own. Many vegetables and fruits are easy to take along and do not require refrigera­tion. Apples, pears, plums, carrots, celery, and grape tomatoes are healthy choices to fill-up on and are very portable.

 

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