Do You Have Portion Distortion?
Over the past 20 years, the average portion size in America has more than doubled. A lack of education on proper serving sizes combined with restaurants offering “super-sized” portions has Americans severely suffering from portion distortion. Are you suffering from portion distortion? Keep reading to find out!
“One should eat to live, not live to eat” – Moliere
You might be surprised to find out that many food items that come as a “single” portion actually contain numerous servings. What’s the difference between a portion and a serving? A portion is the amount of a food item or drink that you choose to eat. A serving is a measured amount of a particular food or drink that is recommended and set by the USDA as an appropriate portion size based on your daily caloric needs.
So do you have portion distortion? Take the test to find out!
If you’ve come to realize that you do in fact have portion distortion, there’s no need to panic! All you have to do is read the nutrition fact labels on every food item that you buy to see how much one serving is. Understanding how to read nutrition fact labels will not only help you to eat the appropriate portion sizes for your caloric needs, but also help you to make the Proper Nutrition choices.
Take a look at this nutrition facts label and guide provided by the American Heart Association (AHA) for a loaf of store bought bread and some tips on how to read it to make better food choices.
Start here. Note the size of a single serving and how many servings are in the package.
Check total calories per serving. Look at the serving size and how many servings you’re really consuming. If you double the servings you eat, you double the calories and nutrients, including the Percent Daily Value (% DV).
*Image provided by The American Heart Association at www.heart.org
Limit these nutrients. Remember, you need to limit your total fat to no more than 56–78 grams a day — including no more than 16 grams of saturated fat, less than two grams of trans fat, and less than 300 mg cholesterol (for a 2,000 calorie diet).
Get enough of these nutrients. Make sure you get 100 percent of the fiber, vitamins and other nutrients you need every day.
Quick guide to % DV. The % DV section tells you the percent of each nutrient in a single serving, in terms of the daily recommended amount. As a guide, if you want to consume less of a nutrient (such as saturated fat, cholesterol or sodium), choose foods with a lower % DV — 5 percent or less is low. If you want to consume more of a nutrient (such as fiber), seek foods with a higher % DV — 20 percent or more is high.
Have a question or comment regarding this article? You can email your exercise and nutrition questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or post them below on the Flexcin blog.
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