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Diet portions


Some for me, Some for I, Some for Myself

Last week we completed our climb to the top of the diabetes food pyramid. As you recall, serving sizes were used with some specifics given like “1/2 cup” etc. The first time I read about portions and dietary recommendations, my first thought was, “ Now WHO is measuring all that?!” I am sure some of you had the same thoughts.{{more}} By the time you measure a cup of this and half-cup of that, you are two times as hungry and end up eating the Smarties at the side of the table…not a good result.

Well I have learned some things that may help. First, believe it or not, there are many people who do measure all their food quite exactly and they have no problems. They have learned to do it so everything is second nature. It is like any habit; it takes time to master.

But for the rest of us who do not even own a measuring cup, thankfully there are some shortcuts. There are some tricks used by nutritionists to help people determine the food portions they should be using. Note that some are based on the size of your hands. For all you jokers out there, do not find a friend with the biggest hands you know to measure your food. You are fooling, well no one, and least of all your body when you keep getting the same amount of calories as before.

Here are your rules:

Lean proteins:

—1 serving of meat, fish or chicken is about the size of a deck of cards.
—1 serving of grilled or baked fish is about the size of your checkbook.

Grains and carbohydrates:

—1 cup of cereal flakes is about the size of a tightly closed fist
—1/2 cup of cooked rice, pasta or potato is equal to slightly bigger than a tennis ball (in the US they say it is equal to a baseball, but don’t use a cricket ball-it is bigger)
—1 serving of bread=1 slice, which is the size of a cassette tape. All you young people who only know CDs and MP3 players will need to dig through your parents old boxes to find some tapes and see what I am talking about. Boy, I feel old just saying that…

Vegetables and Fruits:

—1 cup of greens/salad is slightly bigger than that same tennis ball
—1 potato serving is the size of a tightly closed fist.
—1 medium fruit is about the size of that tennis ball.

Dairy and Cheese:

For all you gamers and gamblers-1 serving of cheese is the size of 4-stacked dice. (Not much, is it?)
1/2 cup of ice cream is equal to our friend the tennis ball.

And last, Fats:

1 serving is 1 tsp of margarine or butter, and that is the size of 1 dice

Using your portions form the pyramid and the sizes above, you will be able to figure out what you should be eating. It takes some thought, but it will get easier and faster the more you put it into practice. Until next week, stay safe and healthy, Vincies!

Anita Ramsetty, MD
Medical Director Endocrine Care Group
Tel: 843-798-4227