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Written by By Dr. Ajay Hotchandani   
Thursday, 07 August 2014 00:00

The Doctor’s Orders

Back to Basics – Size Matters

During the 1990’s if you bought a plate of rice and beans chances are it was served on a paper plate and covered with a piece of foil paper.  Today, you purchase rice and beans and you get it in a Styrofoam container.  The portion of food increased between the paper plate to the container, but we still label it as one meal.  Today we are going to address “servings” of food.  I would highly recommend cutting out the illustrations and placing it in your kitchen or work place so you have a better understanding of what an actual serving is vs. what you believe it to be.

The food pyramid is a GUIDE to help you plan your meals regarding your daily intake.  Where it got complicated, and borderline comical, is what people considered a “serving” of a certain item.  Case and point, a patient of mine would eat half a pack of bread and considered that one serving as he ate it all without taking a break.  Terms such as cup, teaspoon, ounce etc, while appropriate, is hard to follow as most people either don’t have the measuring tools or couldn’t be bothered. 

How to use the charts: 

According to the food pyramid, your daily intake should be 2-3 servings of meat/poultry.  One serving of meat is about 3 ounces which can be measured as the palm of your hand.  So your daily intake should not be greater than 6-9 ounces of meat.  A serving of bread is a slice of bread, so a sandwich has two servings (two slices of bread). 

Again, this is a recommended daily intake.  You may want to research and tailor a meal plan to suit your desired outcome.