Leading an active lifestyle and maintaining a healthy diet are two components to promoting heart health. However, it's not just what we eat; it's how much we eat. Educating yourself about portion size will not only shrink your waistline, it will also decrease your risk of diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
How Much is Too Much?
Whether you're dining in or eating out, the portion sizes you're probably used to are 2-3 times bigger than what is recommended, so it's no wonder why obesity in this country has risen to epidemic numbers.
Here is a list of common food items and their proper serving size:
- 1 slice of bread - about the size of a cassette tape
- 1 baked potato - about the size of a computer mouse
- 1 small piece of fruit - about the size of a baseball
- ½ cup of cooked beans - about the size of a lightbulb
- 2 oz. cheese - about the size of a domino
- 3 oz. meat, poultry or fish - about the size of a deck of cards
- 1 oz. lunch meat - about the size of a CD
- 1 tbsp of margarine, butter, salad dressing or mayonnaise - about the size of a poker chip
When is the last time you went to a steakhouse and saw a 3oz option of meat on the menu? Restaurants are notorious for serving up 2-3 times more food than a healthy portion, so don't feel the need to clean your plate. A good rule of thumb is to split meals or put half your food into a to-go container right away, to avoid over eating.
A healthy diet contributes to a healthy heart, and decreases your risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart attack and stroke. Learn more heart-healthy tips from the Heart, Lung and Vascular Care specialists and professionals at UnityPoint Health - Des Moines.