Friday, March 4, 2011

Serving Size

I feel kind of like I am teaching little kids right now, but it is surprising when I talk to some people about  serving sizes and they have no idea what it is. I also promise after this post it won’t be that way.
My family has 3 sets of measuring cups and they are constantly in use. Due to the fact of our diabetes, we have to measure everything we eat for the serving size. Granted we don’t always have the size that is recommended we will then have to multiply or dived to get our new serving size. I have gotten good at this in the past few years. Now I can just look at the food and say yep that’s ¾ a cup.
What exactly is the serving size? Well it is the bases of the nutrition label. It tells you how much is recommended for you to eat, and everything else on the nutrition label refers to it.  For example the amount of fat in something is the amount in the serving size.
 Let’s get real about cereal, no one eats the amount suggested on the box. People almost always eat more. The Crispix serving size is 1 cup for 25 Carbs. If I eat 1 ½ cups than it is 37.5 Carbs. Cinnamon toast crunch serving size is ¾ cup for 25 Carbs, but most people will eat about 1 ½ cups of it which is 50 Carbs in a serving. The companies want you to think, when you quick look at it in the store, ‘Oh they are both only 25 carbs there is no difference. But according to the serving size with Crispix you can eat 25% more and have a healthier choice.  
Most serving sizes are put to help with portion control and health benefits. There are sometimes when this is not the case. With fun sized candy the serving size usually averages 5 pieces. I am not sure about you, but I could never eat all of that at one time. It would make me feel really sick. Remember use common sense with serving size.   
I found this really neat interactive portion size plate on webmd. It uses everyday items, such as a Baseball so you don’t need to always have to pull out the measuring cup.

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