August 7, 2010

Eating by Measurements

Posted in Heart disease tips tagged , , , , , at 3:51 am by keepyourhearthealthy

photo by Maggie Smith

Any good dietitian will tell you that America’s portion sizes are out of control.

A restaurant will serve much more than you should eat in a single meal.  Luckily, most chain restaurants now display nutrition facts on their website so you can figure out the unhealthy foods ahead of time.  But what if you are trying to cook heart-healthy at home?  Yes, you can follow a healthy recipe and keep your meal low-calorie, low-fat or low-carb.  Some people might also like to create their own healthy meals.

If you want to do a healthy meal the right way, you need to watch out for the measurements of your ingredients.  Cheese is a great topping for many meals but just 1 ounce of reduced fat 2% cheddar cheese has 4.5grams of the bad saturated fat.  In case you are not familiar with how much an ounce is, use a measuring cup and fill to 1/4 cup.  That’s right, only 1/4 cup of reduced fat cheese still has quite a bit of saturated fat.  Most people use way more than 1/4 cup in their foods!

There are plenty of other examples of high fat and high calorie foods that we all probably consume way more than we realize.  1 cup of 2% “lowfat” milk has over 3g of the unhealthy saturated fats.  Think about all the foods which you might use milk in: cereal, oatmeal, coffee, mashed potatoes, etc.  Also keep in mind that a “serving” of sour cream is only one tablespoon.  Make sure you measure it out the next time you put it on a potato.  I’ll bet you will see how much extra you’ve been putting on all along.

You don’t need to measure your food forever.  Once you get to know exactly what 1/4 cup of shredded cheese is or 1 tablespoon of sour cream, you will be able to control your fat and calories without the official measurements.  Until you know the right portion sizes for ingredients in your home-cooked food, you need to measure everything.  It’s the best way to keep your diet as heart-friendly as possible!

1 Comment

  1. Thanks for your great tips. Diet and exercise go hand-in-hand in heart health.

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