Portions: Just how big is a “serving size” anyway?

Portions have been growing steadily over the past many years, and so have we. I was out to lunch with a co-worker the other day and she ordered country-fried chicken. When it arrived it was on a big oval plate (a platter, really) and had a hunk of breaded chicken with two huge scoops of mashed potatoes on either side, and so much gravy the waitress had to use two hands just to keep it from sloshing into someone’s lap. Of course my friend complained it was “too much” and she’d “never be able to eat it all” but I couldn’t help but think — noticing how I could see some of my plate through my pile of fries — that I’d somehow been jipped.

Can we change the perception of “bigger is better?” What is a normal serving size anyway? For meat, poultry, or fish use a deck of cards or the palm of your hand as a reference (about 3 ounces). Cooked veggies? A half cup, or just 3 brussell sprouts, is considered one serving. And most surprising to me is carbohydrates: 1 ounce, or the size of a hockey puck, is what the USDA recommends. That means most bakery bagels are really 3 or 4 servings packed into one tempting package.


Author by Rigel Celeste