Undisguise Portion Size
Bigger is not always better.According to the CDC, more than one-third of adults in the United States are obese. Being obese can increase your risk for heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and even certain cancers. The question we should be asking is why are so many Americans struggling with obesity?
We know that sugary drinks, processed foods, added sugars, and other unnatural ingredients can be fattening, but there is another factor to consider: inflated portion sizes. What’s considered a “normal helping” has been drastically redefined by dining experiences that promote quantity over quality. Heapings of empty, simple carbs often replace nutrient-dense foods like vegetables and whole grains—especially at fast food restaurants. Our perception of portion sizes and balanced meals needs a reality check. Knowing recommended serving sizes can help promote a more balanced diet and healthier living.
We’ve created this quick guide to help you undisguise portion size. Next time you’re cooking at home, just look at your hand as a reminder of how to balance a meal. And if you’re eating out, this guide may inspire you to save some leftovers!
Instructions and Disclaimer: The content on this website is designed for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your health.
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Eat for Peak Performance
Guest blog by Shane Power, President of Watertree Health…
At Mississippi State University, I was a member of the All-SEC Men’s basketball team. I then played professionally for Italy’s Top Division, Teramo Basket and Reggio Calabria. All of this would not have been possible without endless practice and disciplined eating habits. I learned that the foods you eat and when you eat them will affect your performance on and off the courts. And, well-balanced meals will keep you energized. I still abide by these principles today.
During nutrition month in March (and March Madness!), I’d like to remind you that mindful eating can positively affect your entire well-being. Regularly consume healthy, non-sugary fluids and foods sufficient in minerals, vitamins, “good” carbohydrates, healthy fat and lean proteins. Eating breakfast is super important because it will help you with concentration, higher levels of memory, and attention span—a winning combination for everyone, not just athletes.
Here are additional tips from top nutritionists:
Choose wisely. Whenever possible, buy fresh vegetables and fruits. If prepackaged foods and ingredients are necessary, carefully read the nutrition labels to find the healthiest options. You might be surprised to discover what is lurking in prepared foods: high fat, high sodium, high sugar, preservatives, and artificial colors.
Right-size. Rather than having a plate of fried chicken the size of your head, go with a serving of grilled chicken the size of your palm—the correct portion. Maybe order an appetizer instead of a full entrée. Don’t eat food simply because it’s in front of you. Don’t force yourself to finish your dinner, save half for tomorrow’s lunch.
Make healthy choices. Try to cook without adding salt or sugar, or substitute the latter with sweeteners such as sorghum syrup or neutral-tasting agave nectar. Include in your diet complex carbohydrates such as squash, corn, and beans because these will release glucose into your blood gradually instead of spiking your blood sugar. Avoid the temptations of a hotel minibar or airport eatery by packing a nutritious bag of nuts when you travel.
In general, the message is to eat mindfully. But don’t be so strict that you cannot sustain good eating habits. Maybe allow for fun foods 25% of the time. Share a dessert with friends! (And, shoot some hoops with them afterwards.)