What is healthy eating? This is a question that gets thrown around a lot, and has many different answers, depending on who you ask.
Defining Healthy Eating
In general, eating healthy is eating what your body needs – not too much or too little of one type of food or beverage. To elaborate, our bodies require a variety of nutritents to function properly. These include essential nutrients (things the body cannot produce on its own such as vitamins), protein, healthy fats, etc. But it doesn’t stop there. Equal in importance to what we eat, is the amounts and propotions of those foods.
Increased Portion Sizes Lead to Weight Gain
There are many diets in circulation that promise that “eating this superfood” will cause you to drop weight overnight, or drinking this weight-loss tea will speed up your metablism. Many of these methods work, or don’t work, to varying degrees. However, one thing that is a sure fire way to maintain a heathly weight is by controling your portions.
In the last few decades, the amount of calories we consume per meal has skyrocketed. For example, a serving size amount of popcorn at the movies has increased from 270 calories to a whopping 630 calorie tub. That tub of popcorn contains nearly 1/3 of the daily recommended calorie intake. Access to cheaper and larger amounts of food have help lead to increases in weight gain, high-blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes in many adults. See the picture below for a few more comparisons.
For those with diabetes, maintaining a healthy weight is not an option, it’s a requirement. Besides counting carbs, and monitoring sugar intake, those with diabetes can benefit from eating lower fat, high-fiber foods, and eating portion sizes that offer just enough calories required to maintain a healthy weight. But what is a fast & convenient way of making sure you’re eating healthy portions and a properly balanced meal? Enter the Plate Method.
The Plate Method
The Plate Method is an easy, visual way of balancing your meal and keeping your portions in control. In summary, you divide your plate into 2 halves, with one-half further divided into quarters.
1) Half the plate is filled with nonstarchy vegetables, like broccoli or cauliflower.
2) One-quarter of the plate is filled with a starchy vegetable such as corn or potatoes, or can a grain such as rice.
3) The remaining quarter of the plate is filled with a protein such as lean meats, fish, or other protein sources.