Healthy eat­ing

As por­tions be­come big­ger, how much should we re­ally eat?

Friday - - Contents -

I re­cently saw a hard-bod­ied woman ball up her blinged fin­gers into a tiny fist and lift it over her enor­mous sir­loin and chips in a steak­house. Her equally gym-honed date didn’t bat an eyelid, be­cause she wasn’t about to punch his lights out – she was merely try­ing to mea­sure the por­tion size of her nightly carb al­lowance.

Fist-sized is about right, ac­cord­ing to Sioned Quirke, a di­eti­tian spe­cial­is­ing in por­tion con­trol and spokes­woman for the Bri­tish Di­etetic As­so­ci­a­tion. Like many nu­tri­tion pro­fes­sion­als, she’s aware that while those watch­ing their weight may be try­ing to cut calo­ries, many of us have lost sight of what a nor­mal por­tion is.

This is in part be­cause por­tion sizes in restaurants and the food we eat at home have in­creased grad­u­ally

over the past 20 years, ac­cord­ing to the Bri­tish Heart Foun­da­tion, which pub­lished its own re­port, Por­tion Dis­tor­tion: How­Much

AreWe Re­ally Eat­ing?, on the sub­ject in Oc­to­ber last year. The short an­swer, by the way, is too much.

Juliot Vi­no­lia, clin­i­cal di­eti­tian and con­sul­tant nu­tri­tion­ist at iCare Clin­ics, Dubai, agrees that por­tion sizes have grown as businesses try to at­tract cus­tomers by of­fer­ing more.

“The size of the piz­zas, sand­wiches and cup­cakes have def­i­nitely in­creased over the years,” she says. “Sell­ing big por­tions is a busi­ness strat­egy and in most cases people are left with no choice but to buy what’s avail­able.”

That said, many people are se­cretly happy be­cause they be­lieve they are get­ting more for their money, not know­ing that it could be cost­ing them their health. “And that could be con­tribut­ing to the

Eric Lan­lard, cake cre­ator ex­traor­di­naire, sweets talks us

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