Thursday, April 9, 2009

Confused by Portions? (Part 1)

Many people think that if they are eating foods that are low in fat, low in sugar, or "healthy" that they can eat all they want. Eating too much of any food, even healthy foods, adds extra calories. Extra calories can add up and sabotage your weight goals.

Since foods are sold in increasingly larger portions and since carrying a scale or measuring cup with you here some tips to make it a little easier to estimate portion sizes.

Recommended Daily Servings

The USDA's guidelines on the number of portions we should eat daily are:

  • Bread, Cereal, Rice, & Pasta Group: 6-11 servings daily. What counts as a serving? One slice of bread, 1/2 cup cooked rice, pasta, or cereal, 1-ounce ready to eat cereal, 1/2 hamburger roll or English muffin, 1/2 of a small 2-ounce bagel, 3-4 plain crackers.

  • Vegetable Group: 3-5 servings daily. What counts as a serving? 1-cup raw leafy vegetables, 1/2 cup of other vegetables, cooked, or chopped raw, 3/4 cup vegetable juice.

  • Fruit Group: 2-4 servings daily. What counts as a serving? 1 medium apple, bannana, or orange, 1/2 cup of chopped , cooked or canned fruit, 3/4 cup (6 ounces) of fruit juice.

  • Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese Group: 2-3 servings daily. What counts as a serving? 1cup of milk or yogurt, 1 and 1/2 ounces of natural cheese, 2 ounces of process cheese.

  • Meat, Poultry, Fish, Dry Beans, Eggs, & Nuts Group: 2-3 servings daily. What is a serving? 2-3 ounces of cooked lean meat, poultry, or fish. NOTE: 1/2 cup of cooked dry beans, 1 egg, or 2 tablespoons of peanut butter count as a 1 ounce meat.

  • Fats, Oils, & Sweets Group: Be Careful! There is no serving size for this group so jsut be conscious and use these items in moderation.

Come back tomorrow for Part 2!

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