The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) has issued a "hands-on" guide to preventing people from eating too much in the obesity crisis.
The Guide – Find Your Balance uses simple hand and spoon measurements to estimate the correct portions of food cooking and serving that the BNF believes are easier to understand and put into practice than using balances.
The guide was developed according to the BNF to complement government recommendations on the type of food to eat, as described in the NHS's Eatwell Guide, which provides guidance on the proportions of key food groups that make up a healthy diet.
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The organization hopes that the guide will not only help us to understand "what foods to eat, how often and how much to maintain a healthy weight and a balanced diet."
According to the instructions, the right amount of rice or pasta is 180g when cooking or equal to the amount that would fit in two cupped hands.
The recommended portion of a grilled chicken breast, cooked salmon fillet or cooked steak is "about half the size of your hand".
The recommended portion of fruit juice consists of a small glass (150 ml), while milk or a herbal alternative corresponds to a medium glass (200 ml).
For a baked potato, a serving should be "about the size of your fist," and cheddar cheese should not be more than "about two thumbs apart."
According to the government's Eatwell Guide, one-third of our diet should consist of fruits and vegetables, one-third of starchy carbohydrates, and the balance between dairy and protein.
However, the new BNF Guide tells people how often the suggested portions of food from different food groups should be consumed during the day, and how this can be achieved through an exemplary meal plan.
The food groups and recommended portion sizes include:
• Fruits and vegetables – more than 5 servings per day
• Stronger Carbs – 3-4 servings per day
• Protein food – 2-3 servings per day
• Dairy products and alternatives – 2-3 servings per day
• Unsaturated oils and spreads – small quantities
Bridget Benelam, Nutritionist at the BNF, says people often do not consider or understand serving sizes.
She explains, "The amount we put on our plate usually depends on the portion size we consume, how hungry we feel, and how much we offer as a help at a restaurant table or in a pack or a ready meal. "
She tells that Independently"Probably the most difficult foods for which the portion size is right are pasta, rice, and other grains that are not usually portioned and expand greatly during cooking.
"Often, the portion you put in a pan looks small, and you can add more and, in the end, cook more than you need, so adjusting the portion size of these foods properly while cooking can really help create a proper one To get quantity for a meal. "
Benelam says the BNF has examined the National Diet and Nutrition Survey data and found differences in the size of the portions.
"Our recommended serving size for cooked pasta is 180g (254 calories). For example, if we look at the serving sizes for spaghetti, the most commonly consumed size was 230 grams (324 calories) and about 10 percent of the sample analyzed consumed 350 grams as a serving, providing almost 500 calories from the pasta before sauces and side dishes added to the meal, "she says.
"Studies have shown that having a larger serving on your plate almost always means you eat more – it takes a while for the body to register that you are full, so to avoid overeating, it is worth your while Serve to check. " says the Independently,
"Even if they look a little smaller than they used to, you might find that they fill in enough."
To develop portion-size guidelines, BNF nutritionists reviewed portion-size guidelines from other countries that are currently analyzing portion sizes consumed in the UK and types of products available in supermarkets.
The portion sizes of the guide have been modeled in test diets to ensure that they comply with current recommendations for food and nutrients.
Dr. Frankie Phillips, dietitian and spokesman for the British Dietetic Association (BDA), believes the guide will serve as a useful tool for users.
She tells that Independently: "It's an individual guide that looks at a person, not a unified, uniform format."
She also recommends that users pay attention to their appetite. "Our appetite varies, so what could be a suitable meal someday depends on when you last ate or how many portion sizes can vary," she adds.
In the meantime, dietician Sian Porter says using the hands to measure the portions is a "useful and practical" technique.
"You always have your hands with you and frequently used utensils like a tablespoon in the kitchen," she says Independently, "You can help avoid food waste and save too much money if you often cook too much and then throw it away."
The Find Your Balance Guide can be downloaded here.