New Castle News

Courtney Caughey-Stambul

February 1, 2012

Courtney Caughey: Geez, I didn’t realize ‘portions’ are so small

NEW CASTLE — So, as I stated last week, I am trying to eat better and exercise regularly.

Over the weekend, I attended the Bridal Fair and Women's Expo at the Scottish Rite Cathedral. While at the event, I picked up a "pocket pal" pamphlet on food portions as well as a portion measuring cup from Jameson Health System.

It got me thinking how exaggerated portions are at restaurants, especially within the fast-food industry. When did super-size become the standard size? I know that a small drink at Wendy's is now the size of what used to be a medium.

I think we all recognize that fast-food portions are out of control, so how about foods that don't come from a drive-thru window? How much should we be eating?

Did you know that the recommended portion of cereal is only 1 cup and that 1 cup is only about the size of your fist?

I bet a lot of us, me included, eat more than 1 cup (1 serving as per my Special K box) of cereal at breakfast but don't take the time to consider how that changes those nutrition numbers on the side of the box. I always compare nutrition facts on products, but when it comes time to eat, I don't think I pay enough attention to serving size or recommended portions. Notice though, serving size is not always recommended portion size.

The Food Network recently featured tips for determining portion size on its website. For instance, the recommended portion of meat at a meal is 3 ounces, and 3 ounces is about the size of a deck of cards.

A recommended portion of pasta is 1 cup and about the size of a tennis ball (or again, close to the size of your fist). I definitely eat more pasta than 1 cup, which is around 200 calories cooked without added salt. I probably could fill up on only 1 cup, but when there is more on my plate, I tend to eat it.

For more portion size tips, visit http://www.foodnetwork.com/healthy_eating/8-tips-perfect-portion-sizes/pictures/index.html or http://kidshealth.org/parent/nutrition_center/healthy_eating/portions.html#.

I have a lot to learn when it comes to nutrition, but I plan to spend more time considering what I put in my body and how much. After all, I get only one body, so I better take care of it.

And a little announcement for those who didn't attend the bridal fair: The Jameson "Run for Your Heart" 5k/10k will take place on July 14. If you would like more information, visit http://jamesonhealth.org/runforyourheart.

Here's to getting healthy!

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