Sunday, January 4, 2009

Proper Proportions

Well who doesn't struggle with portion control? Well actually, most of us have a big problem with proportion control as well! Here's a little trick you can use to make sure you are eating the right amounts of the right types of food. You can actually eat a lot more than you think, so you don't have to be hungry, you just need to eat more of the right things, less of the moderate things, and none of the bad things.

From Drop Box

So you can see that you need to make 1/2 your plate non-starchy vegetables, 1/4 protein, and 1/4 whole grain (this graphic shows a baked potato, but remember, white potatoes are not whole grains.) This was the problem I had with my dinner last night. I had 1/3 whole grain, 1/3 legume (starchy vegetable), and 1/3 protein. So on face value, my meal looked healthy, but it was not following the basic rule of proportions. I got too much starch between the rice and the peas.

Here's a description of starchy and non-starchy veggies to remind us which foods go where:

Starchy: Roots, tubers and plantains. Avoid: Potatoes, Parsnip, Pumpkin, Rutabaga, Sweet potatoes, Corn (actually a grain) In moderation: Beets, Carrots, Green beans, Eggplant, Jicima, Peas (actually a legume), Squashes, New potatoes, Taro, Yams

Non-Starchy: leafy greens such as lettuce and spinach; cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and bok choy; and allium vegetables like onions, garlic and leeks. Cucumbers, squash, peppers and tomatoes – botanically classified as fruits – also fall into this category.

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