Proper Food Portions! (Just In Time!)

Experts say that most people don’t know what a proper portion of food should look like, and even healthy food contains calories that can add up.

A 2013 report looked at how portion sizes had changed over 20 years found that ready-meal portions for dishes such as lasagne had increased by as much as 50 percent. Plates and wine glasses keep getting bigger, too.


Here are some portion guidelines that anyone can do.


MEAT: PALM OF THE HAND- A serving of any meat should be the size of the palm of your hand (but not your fingers).


WHITE FISH: WHOLE HAND– For white fish, the portion can be the size of your hand when laid flat, including your fingers.


UNCOOKED SPINACH: TWO DOUBLE HANDFULS- You should have vegetables with every meal.


SMALL FRUITS: TWO CUPPED PALMS- A portion of small fruit such as berries (or larger fruit cut up in a fruit salad) is roughly what you can fit in your cupped hands.


VEGETABLES: CLENCHED FIST- Twice this amount of broccoli would technically count as two of your five a day, though variety is key.


UNCOOKED PASTA: CLENCHED FIST- Carbs, for energy and fiber, should make up just a quarter of your plate. A portion of uncooked rice is also the size of your fist. Any more than this will pile on calories from extra sauce, too.


NUTS: ONE PALM- A good portion is what you can hold in a cupped palm. ‘Try to eat nuts and seeds one by one’ to get the heart-healthy unsaturated fats, without too many calories.


POTATO: CLENCHED FIST- Baking potatoes can be twice as big as a regular potato, so think about sharing. It’s the same for sweet potatoes – but unlike white potatoes these would count as one of your five-a-day.


OILY FISH: PALM OF HAND- One portion a week would give you enough heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids in your diet.


BUTTER: THUMB TIP- Any fat – butter, oil, and spreads such as peanut butter should be a serving no bigger than a teaspoon or the size of the end of your thumb, from the knuckle to the tip of the nail, and no more than two or three portions a day.


CHOCOLATE: INDEX FINGER- A piece of chocolate the size of your index finger works out at around 100 calories, and this would be an appropriate treat.


CHEESE: TWO THUMBS- Cheese should be around the length and depth of both thumbs. That’s around 125 calories here, giving a third of your daily calcium.


CAKE: TWO FINGERS- A piece of cake should be the length and width of two fingers. This makes it around 185 calories – fine as a treat or snack.