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June 26 - Portion Distortion:

American food portions are out of control! The rise in obesity rates over the past 30 years has been paralleled by increases in the portion size of many foods. Many items available at restaurants are estimated to be two to five times larger than they were two decades ago. Larger portion sizes leads to overeating and high caloric intake. In fact, adults today consume an average of 300 more calories per day than they did in 1985.

Keeping portions in check can help manage a healthier body weight and reduce the risk of developing heart disease and other chronic conditions. Here are a couple of ways we can use our hands as a guide.

Fist = Fruits and Grains
Fruit, oatmeal, potatoes, corn, rice, oatmeal and other grains should equal the size of your closed fist.

Palm = Protein

Proteins like fish, poultry, meat, and tofu should equal the size and width of your palm. Nuts are the exception; they should equal 2 tbsp (as a spread) or ¼ cup dry.

Hand = Veggies

Open your hand and spread fingers as wide as you can. That’s your portion for vegetables.

Thumb = Fats

1 oz. portions for fats like cheese or a dollop of sour cream should equal the size of your thumb (knuckle to tip of nail).

Sources: James Rouse, ND, coauthor Think, Eat, Move, Thrive

My name Elise Compston and I am the Registered Dietitian at Saint Mary’s Fitness Center. I am responsible for developing and teaching a variety of nutrition classes and counseling families and individuals on ways to make healthy eating fun and reaching wellness goals through balanced nutrition. Outside of work, I am enjoying life as a newlywed and love exploring all that Reno has to offer!