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Old 05-06-2006, 05:19 PM
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Default Portion Distortion: How Much Are You eating???

Diet & Nutrition
Search Health:Go
Portion Distortion: How Much Are You Eating?
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by Lynn Grieger, RD, CDE for iVillage
Do you ever feel like Goldilocks? "Is this bowl of porridge too small? Is it too big? Or is it just right?"
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One of the primary reasons so many people are overweight is lack of portion control. Food advertising is the biggest culprit. You can Supersize for only one additional dollar. Buy two candy bars for the price of one. And don't even bother trying to find a "small" serving of most foods; they've morphed into ever-expanding sizes.
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Why do portions matter anyway?
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One word: calories. A small pear contains 60 calories, a large pear has 80. A small serving of fries at McDonald's has 220 calories, while a large serving has 400 calories. If you eat large fries three times each week for a year, that's an additional 8 pounds of fat you're packing on your body. Ultimately, losing weight comes down to calories.
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How portion savvy are you?
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Try this quiz to see how much you know about standard serving sizes:
CLICK TO TAKE QUIZ

http://health.msn.com/dietnutrition/...ntid=100135331


SCROLL DOWN TO FIND QUIZ AND ANSWERS ARE ON BOTTOM

1. A serving of fruit juice is:
The Correct Answer:
Your Answer:

According to the food pyramid, a serving is 6 fluid ounces, or 3/4 cup. If you're used to Weight Watchers or other exchange-type programs, 1/2 cup is a serving. Or you could read the label, but remember that individual-size bottles of fruit juices and drinks such as Snapple have grown over the past few years; one "individual" bottle usually serves 2 1/2.

2. One bakery-shop bagel is how many servings of grains:
The Correct Answer:
Your Answer:

The old standard "one-half bagel equals one serving of grain, or one slice of bread" doesn't apply to the giant-size bagels we eat with abandon. Most bagels are now five to six servings of grains. Be honest: Would you eat three sandwiches for lunch? That's what you're doing when you have a bagel sandwich.

3. What is the correct serving size of cooked pasta:
The Correct Answer:
Your Answer:

One-half cup, or the amount you hold in one cupped hand, is one serving of pasta. Since we should aim for six or more servings of grains each day, it's okay to eat 1 cup of pasta (or two servings) at a meal. But remember, if you had a bagel for lunch, you've met your grain servings for the day with just 1/2 cup of pasta.

4. The serving size of raw salad greens is:
The Correct Answer:
Your Answer:

One cup, or the amount you hold in two cupped hands.

5. How much cheddar cheese is one serving?
The Correct Answer:
Your Answer:

1 1/2 ounces, or about 1 1/2 thumbs' worth, is one serving of cheese.

6. One cup of tuna is equal to how many ounces of meat?
The Correct Answer:
Your Answer:

One cup of tuna is equal to 4 ounces of meat, or slightly larger than the palm of a small woman's hand.

7. One egg is equal to how many ounces of meat?
The Correct Answer:
Your Answer:

Each egg is equal to one ounce of meat; if egg substitute is your preference, 1/4 cup is equal to one egg.

8. A serving of most salad dressings is:
The Correct Answer:
Your Answer:

Two tablespoons, or the size of a small thumb.

9. A small baked potato should weigh:
The Correct Answer:
Your Answer:

Three ounces is considered a small baked potato, about 1/4 the size of the whoppers we're served at many restaurants.

10. One serving of ice cream is:
The Correct Answer:
Your Answer:

Most of us aren't satisfied until we've eaten the entire carton of ice cream, but that doesn't mean it's a "serving." One-half cup, or one ice-cream scoop, is considered a serving. If 1/2 cup of ice cream has 140 calories, then a typical bowl containing two cups of ice cream has 560 calories. How's that for a bedtime snack?
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What counts as a serving?
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Use these simple guidelines to figure out recommended serving sizes:

* Read the food label for specific serving size information. A serving of Cheerios is one cup, Kix 1 1/3 cups or Great Grains granola 2/3 cup. Read the label to make sure.

* For fruit and vegetables, think small. Instead of giant-size oranges or apples, look for smaller pieces of fruit. Sure, fruits and veggies are good for us, but too many calories from any food adds up into added body fat.

* Three ounces of meat, poultry or fish is about the size of a deck of playing cards or the palm of a small woman's hand. Sorry guys, a man's palm is closer to 6 ounces.

* One ounce of cheese is about the size of a small thumb.

* Most women can hold about 1/2 cup of veggies, pasta or rice in one cupped hand. Two cupped handfuls equals 1 cup of raw leafy veggies such as spinach or tossed salad or one ounce of potato chips.

* The tip of your thumb is about 1 teaspoon; three thumb-tips equals 1 tablespoon. One teaspoon of butter or margarine is a serving, but most people use far more.
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