Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Portion Distortion - What are "serving sizes"?

The following information is copied from the Dairy Bureau of Canada (see link and reference below).  Using the hands to estimate portion sizes of food is also known as the Zimbabwean hand method.  It was developed in Africa for teaching the diabetic diet to local people with very few resources who are often illiterate.

Serving sizes and ranges, as suggested in Canada's Food Guide, are based on energy and nutrient requirements, and not on what is commonly thought of as a serving!  It's important to see how much food makes up a serving to make sure you don't have "portion distortion". The Pocket Serving Sizer and Food Guide (Dairy Bureau of Canada, 1999) offers a great method for figuring out what a serving size actually looks like.
serving sizer

Other Handy Tips for picturing what servings look like:
other tips

Or, you can keep it really simple, and just make sure your plate looks like this — don't forget the fruit and milk!