Portion Sizes

Since February has Valentine’s day, and Valentine’s day is associated with hearts, I decided that this month I am going to give out some heart healthy eating tips. Heart disease is still the number one cause of death in the United States. Our hearts work hard for us to live, so we should work hard to give them the proper nutrition they need. One way to do this is to not over feed them. When the arteries around the heart become clogged from the excess cholesterol and fat we consume, our hearts have to work overtime, and if they have to work too hard they may eventually just stop. So here are some hints to help you eye-ball proper portion sizes at your meals if you don’t have a food scale or measuring cup on hand.

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Carbohydrates

Your Fist = 1 cup of ice cream or cereal or about 30 grams carbohydrates

Protein

Your Palm (not including your fingers and thumb) = 3 oz of meat or tofu

Fat

Your Thumb = 1 tablespoon, 2 tbsp is roughly what should be used for condiments like salad dressing or peanut butter

Your Thumb tip= 1 teaspoon or 1 serving of fat (i.e., olive oil, Smart Balance)

Fruit

1 serving of fruit = 1 baseball or 1/2 cup

Vegetables

1 serving of vegetables =1 cup raw (about the size of your fist) or 1/2 cup cooked (about the size of a baseball)

The American Heart Association has suggested servings from each group, but each person varies based on their activity level, metabolic rate, age, etc. Therefore, my favorite tip is listen to your stomach! If it is growling, you are hungry…so eat! Then eat slowly, after you have finished your meal wait about 10 min, if you are still hungry have another portion. More importantly have another serving of fruits or vegetables! If you feel like you are overeating or need help figuring out the proper portion sizes for you contact a dietitian to help you figure out what your body need. If anybody has any questions, feel free to leave them in the comment section and I will get back to you!

What’s your tip for watching portion sizes?

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