Tag Archives: snacks

Just Enough for You: About Food Portion

Courtesy: WIN (The Weight-control Information Network)

What’s the difference between a portion and a serving?portion-size-then-and-now1

A “portion” is how much food you choose to eat at one time, whether in a restaurant, from a package, or in your own kitchen. A “serving” size is the amount of food listed on a product’s Nutrition Facts. Sometimes, the portion size and serving size match; sometimes they do not. Keep in mind that the serving size on the Nutrition Facts is not a recommended amount of food to eat. It is a quick way of letting you know the calories and nutrients in a certain amount of food.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Nutrition Facts information is printed on most packaged foods. It tells you how many calories and how much fat, carbohydrate, sodium, and other nutrients are available in one serving of food. Most packaged foods contain more than a single serving. The serving sizes that appear on food labels are based on FDA-established lists of foods. (For more information, see www.cfsan.fda.gov.)

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How can I control portions at home?

You do not need to measure and count everything you eat for the rest of your life—just do this long enough to recognize typical serving sizes. Try the ideas listed below to help you control portions at home.

  • Take the amount of food that is equal to one serving, according to the Nutrition Facts, and eat it off a plate instead of eating straight out of a large box or bag.
  • Avoid eating in front of the TV or while busy with other activities. Pay attention to what you are eating, chew your food well, and fully enjoy the smell and taste of your foods.
  • Eat slowly so your brain can get the message that your stomach is full.
  • Try using smaller dishes, bowls, and glasses. This way, when you fill up your plate or glass, you will be eating and drinking less.
  • To control your intake of the higher-fat, higher-calorie parts of a meal, take seconds of vegetables and salads (watch the toppings) instead of desserts and dishes with heavy sauces.
  • When cooking in large batches, freeze food that you will not serve right away. This way, you will not be tempted to finish eating the whole batch before the food goes bad. And you will have ready-made food for another day. Freeze leftovers in amounts that you can use for a single serving or for a family meal another day.
  • Try to eat meals at regular intervals. Skipping meals or leaving large gaps of time between meals may lead you to eat larger amounts of food the next time that you eat.
  • When buying snacks, go for single-serving prepackaged items and foods that are lower-calorie options. If you buy larger bags or boxes of snacks, divide the items into single-serve packages.
  • Make snacks count. Eating many high-calorie snacks throughout the day may lead to weight gain. Replace snacks like chips and soda with snacks such as low-fat or fat-free yogurt, smoothies, fruit, or whole-grain crackers.
  • When you do have a treat like chips or ice cream, measure out 1/2 cup of ice cream or 1 ounce of chips, as indicated by the Nutrition Facts, eat it slowly, and enjoy it!

WIN: The Weight-control Information Network is an information service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK).

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FINE PRINT

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10 Holiday Eating Tips From Cedars – Sinai Nutrition Expert

Author: Cedars Sinai Medical Centerfamily dinner

Los Angeles, CA (Dec. 21, 2008) – The holiday season may bring visions of sugar plums dancing in our heads, but trouble can ensue when pies, cakes, cookies and other fatty holiday treats start dancing on our plates.

With careful planning and smart choices, you can have your fill of holiday cheer without filling your plate with calorie-rich foods, said Netty Levine, RD, CDE, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator, at  Cedars- Sinai Medical Center.

“You can enjoy your favorite traditional holiday foods in moderation without dragging extra pounds into the New Year,” Levine said. “Make smart choices at parties and in buffet lines, and on days you’re not celebrating make sure you’re eating healthy, well-balanced meals.”

Fitting in exercise, drinking plenty of water and maintaining a healthy diet will not only be good for your waist line, but can also ensure you have enough energy for the season’s many celebrations, Levine said.

She offers these suggestions for sensible eating during the holidays:

1.  Vow to maintain, not gain. If you’re on a long-term weight loss plan, make every effort to maintain your weight. Maintaining weight despite the season’s many temptations should be considered a reasonable goal.

2.  When going to  a holiday potluck, bring along a healthy dish or treat you enjoy. Find ways to lighten up traditional recipes, or bring along a vegetable or fruit tray. Presentation and creativity count!

3.  Never go to a party hungry. Eat a small healthy meal or snack to ward off cravings, which can help make temptation easier to resist.

4.  Drink water. Avoiding high-calorie beverages will make those holiday splurges easier on your waistline.

5.  When dining buffet-style, choose a smaller plate and pile it high with fruits, vegetables and green salads. Load up on lean roasted meats, and choose small portions of your holiday favorites

6.  Dodge the pre-dinner cocktail. Alcohol makes you hungrier, and lower inhibitions can lead to poor food choices. Opt instead for a drink with your meal. When ordering cocktails, reach for those made with a low- or no-calorie mixer.

7.  Don’t be too busy for breakfast. Starting the day with a healthy meal will help control cravings later.

8 . Be picky about dessert. Indulge only in your very favorites, and when presented with several dessert options, choose just one. Check in with yourself when eating. Do you want the whole portion of a rich treat, or do you feel satisfied after a few bites?

9.  Make time for exercise – be active when you can. Even short bits of exercise can add up.

10.  Focus on friends and family, not the food. Make the company of loved ones the center of your gathering – not the tasty treats.

To arrange interviews, please contact Nicole White, media specialist, at nicole.white@cshs.org or at (310) 423- 5215.  # # #

Some Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating

Author: Jan RichardsWinter+Fruit+Glazed+Turkey

When the holidays arrive, many people forget all about their diets and healthy eating. Weight gains of 7 – 10 pounds are common between Halloween and Christmas. To make the holidays easier, these tips will help you with healthy eating through the season and not gaining weight. Most traditional foods can be made low fat.  Turkey is very lean without the skin, and gravy can be made without any fat. Potatoes that are served without butter can be very healthy. The beloved pumpkin pie is nutritious, although it can be made into a fatty dessert with the adding of whipped cream.

Even though the holidays are in, don’t forget about the exercise. Keeping weight off during the holiday season is burning off the extra calories. You should plan a walk after meals, park farther from stores when you shop, and take a few walks around the mall before you begin shopping.

During holiday parties and at family dinners, feel free to sample foods although you shouldn’t splurge. Decide on what you plan to eat in advance, then stick to your plan. Eat plenty of vegetables, fruit, low fat dressings, and slices of lean meats. Before you go to a party, eat a small snack to help curb your appetite. If at all possible, avoid alcohol. Having too many drinks can cripple your will power, and also add excess calories to your diet. In the place of alcohol, drink water with lemon. Water can help to limit your appetite and keep you from binging. Also make sure to avoid eggnog, as each glass can have up to 300 calories. Be flexible with your healthy eating, as one bad meal won’t ruin your diet. Try to balance your calories over a few days and don’t just look at one meal or day.