Portion Control

A recent HuffPost Food article said the following:

And since we are at it , why do we have the "small" soft drinks at the soda fountain look like large pitchers who could serve 3 very thirsty giants? Why are we always served more than we need? Extra butter, more potatoes, super size me.[…] Time to portion control our appetite it’ll do us better than diet pills and miracle diets. I’m for one ready to take the challenge. Are you with me? Let’s portion control, America!

There is definitely a valid point here. Portions in America – and, increasingly, the rest of the Western world – are much too large. But have you ever noticed that the things that come in large portions are also the things that are most damaging in large quantities? Soda, bread, pasta, potatoes, ground meats – stuff that’s processed, and thus cheap. Perhaps one notable exception is the salad bar, but even that isn’t as cheap as the processed alternatives (if it’s a good salad bar, anyway).

In other words, no one would be complaining about portion control if we had a plate full of vegetables, providing us a wealth of vitamins, minerals and fiber relative to the calories we’d be taking in. But instead, our meals are so skewed toward empty calories that we have to take vitamin supplements.

Portion control is important, sure, and it’s a good first step. But portion balance is also key – or we may end up getting even less of the nutrients we need to stay healthy.

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