Portion sizes are getting larger – fast food super size options, huge popcorn tubs and fizzy drinks at cinemas and bigger ready meals.
This has been linked to rising obesity levels and increased risk of heart disease and stroke, but what can we do about it? What is an acceptable portion size?
It’s easier than you think to overeat protein sources – we should aim for 2 portions a day. One portion is a matchbox-sized piece of cheese, two sausages or a cut of meat the size of a deck of cards, one egg, 100g fish or 3 tbsp. pulses.
We need 4-6 portions of starchy foods a day, but this is soon reached, with portion sizes as little as 2 tbsp. cooked rice, pasta or noodles, 3 tbsp. cereal, a thick slice of bread or an egg-sized potato.
Getting our 5-a-day fruit and veg is also easy – a slice of large fruit like melon, one medium fruit like an apple or banana, two small fruits like plums, 1 tbsp. dried fruit or a glass or fruit juice counts as a portion, as does 3 heaped tbsp. cooked vegetables.
Once you’ve got the individual foods sorted, think about your meal as a whole:
- Cover at least a third of your plate in veg – it’s colourful, filling, low in fat and high in fibre.
- Use smaller plates and stop eating when you’re full – don’t be tempted to overeat just because it’s there.
- Chill or freeze leftovers rather than having seconds.
- Don’t skip meals – you might unintentionally overeat later.
So look out for your heart – check your portion sizes and it will be easier to balance your energy intake to maintain a healthy weight and a healthy waistline.
Source: Medical News Today