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Date: 10-04-2011

Eating what’s good for you is only half the battle when it comes to creating healthy menus for you and yours.   It’s not just what you eat, but how much of it you eat as well. 
Serving sizes have seen a significant increase over time, leading many to eat larger portions than they need. Times have changed and so have our appetites. This social phenomenon of “bigger is better” has even sneaked into classical pieces of art to unknowingly illustrate people’s eating habits over centuries. A recent study, published in the International Journal of Obesity, compared Last Supper paintings over the past 1000 years and found that the main courses depicted have increased in size by 69 per cent, plate size by 66 per cent, and bread size by 23 per cent.
Other than employing this trivia at the next water cooler chat, it’s an important indicator of what we’re eating. Yet, there are simple ways of determining how much of what you should be eating to stay healthy and happily fed.
Follow these helpful tips to eat a healthy portion

  •  Use Canada’s Food Guide to determine what the proper recommended serving size is for you.
  •  Make sure that fruits and vegetables make up a large portion of your diet. Fruits and vegetables should account for half your plate.
  •  The recommended serving of meat is equivalent to the size of the palm of your hand.
  • Typical recommended serving for a slice of bread should be approximately the same size as a CD case.
  • One serving of fruit should be equivalent to the size of a baseball.
  • When eating out, keep the portion you are being served in check. Restaurant plates are often larger than needed. It is not necessary to finish everything on your plate.
  • Before going out to eat, have a piece of fruit. You will be less likely to over-eat at the restaurant.

Visit http://www.healthcheck.org/content/tips-meal-serving-sizes to get a copy of helpful hints on how to properly determine your recommended serving sizes
 
For more healthy eating information visit healthcheck.org and follow us on Twitter @HSFHealthCheck
For more healthy tips and recipes, visit healthcheck.org, or reach into your pocket and download Health Check’s Recipe Helper app. The free app – available in English or French − can be downloaded at the Apple, Android, and BlackBerry app stores or at www.heartandstroke.ca/mobileapps.
 

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