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Portion Size


Portion Size

When it comes to food,a size does matter – that is, the amount of food you eat. Food that we require in our daily diet is broadly divided into five groups – Grains, Vegetables, Fruits, Milk and final group being meats and beans. Each group consists of certain foods. Each of these foods in turn must be eaten in certain quantities everyday. The caloric value of all the foods from all the five groups should not be less than or more than amount of calories that you require which is approximately 2,300 for a healthy male adult.

However, controlling how much we eat or what we eat is more difficult than expected. We normally prepare food and lay it out on the dining table. Each one picks up a plate and ladles food onto the plate – we tend not to measure it out. Also, people tend to pick and choose what they wish to eat. Most adults usually tend to ignore vegetables or eat them in quantities that are far below the daily recommendation. Similarly, we heap our plates with meats and other “goodies” because we love them. So although the food spread might meet the daily requirements in terms of quantity and nutrients, the quantities and food items we actually eat might fail the test of good dietary requirement.

So what is Portion size?

To most individuals, portion size refers to the quantum of food you heap on to your plate and plan on eating in one go. In reality, portion size actually refers to the amount of food you are supposed to have in terms of your age, gender and physical activity.

Here is what one 1 portion looks like for various food items that need to be a part of your daily diet:

  • Size of a baseball: Vegetables or fruit.
  • One handful: Cooked rice or pasta
  • Deck of cards: Meat, poultry or fish
  • Size of a golf ball: Dried fruit or nuts
  • Size of a tennis ball: Ice cream
  • Computer mouse: Baked potato
  • Size of a compact disc and just as thin: Pancake / waffle
  • Size of your thumb: Peanut butter
  • Six dice: Cheese
  • Check book: A fillet of fish

Honestly, we doubt even a nutritionist can dish out food in perfect portion sizes.

Is there a way to measure the portion size?

Fortunately yes! We don’t have to keep a baseball or deck of cards or a CD handy on the dinner table. Modern ingenuity and need of the hour has helped create and perfect the portion size control or portion control plates and scoopers.

The manufacturers of portion control plates help you get it right and in doing so, being in control of not only the quantum of food you consume, but also what foods you consume. The portion control plate takes out the “emotional” factor from the quantum of food by preventing us from heaping more on to our plate just because we love a particular food item.

To begin with, portion control plates are smaller than traditional plates. This makes us feel the plate is loaded i.e. we see more food than there actually is. Real portion control plates also have demarcations for various food groups. This is of immense help as it allows you to see at a glance just how much of each food should be on the plate.

Portion Size

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