The British Food Foundation (BNF) has launched a "practical" guide to prevent people from eating too much in a crisis of obesity.
The Guide Finding Your Balance uses simple hand and spoon measurements to help us evaluate the appropriate parts when cooking and serving foods that BNF believes will be easier to understand and apply in practice than using a scale.
The guide is developed, BNF says, to supplement governmental tips on eating foods, as outlined in the NHS Eatwell Guide, which provides guidelines on the proportions of the major food-producing groups that make a healthy diet.
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The organization hopes that the guide will help us not only in understanding "what foods to eat, but how often and in what quantities, in order to maintain a healthy weight and have a balanced diet".
According to the guide, the correct amount of rice or pasta is 180 g when cooked, or an equivalent quantity that would fit into two cups.
The proposed individual portion of chicken breast, cooked salmon or cooked steak is "roughly half the size of your hand".
The recommended portion of fruit juice makes one small cup (150 ml), while the milk or plant-based alternative is estimated to be equivalent to one medium glass (200 ml).
As far as roast potatoes are concerned, one part should be "the size of your hand", and the cheddar cheese should not be larger than the "two-inch size"
According to a government Eatwell guide, our diet should consist of one third of fruits and vegetables, one third of starch carbs, and the rest of milk and protein.
However, the new BNF guide advises people how often a baby is recommended from different food groups throughout the day and explains how to implement it in practice with the example meal plan.
Food groups and recommended part sizes include:
• Fruits and vegetables – 5+ meals a day
• Starchy carbohydrates – 3-4 servings per day
• Protein Food – 2-3 Servings per Day
• Dairy products and alternatives – 2-3 servings per day
• Unsaturated oils and spreads – small quantities
Bridget Benelam, a nutrition scientist at BNF, says people often do not think or understand the size of the portions.
She explains: "The amount we put on our plate usually depends on the size of the portion we are used to consumption, how hungry we are and how much it is offered at the restaurant table or in a package or a meal."
She says independent: "Probably the toughest serving for serving portion sizes is for those like pasta, rice and other cereals that are commonly not shared and are widespread when cooking.
"Often, the portion you put into the bowl will look small and you can add more and finish by cooking more than you need. Getting a portion of this food exactly when cooking can really help end up with the right amount of meal."
Benelam says BNF reviewed data from the National Nutrition and Nutrition Survey and discovered variations in the size of a portion of people.
"The suggested portion size for cooked pasta is 180 g (254 calories), but, for example, when we looked at the size of spaghetti portion, we usually consumed 230 g (324 calories) and about 10 percent of the sample consumed 350 g part, which would ensure nearly 500 calories from pasta itself, before adding sauces and side dishes, "she says.
"Studies have shown that putting a larger stake on the plate almost always means that you will eat more – it's time for the body to register that you are full and to avoid overcooking, it's really worth checking your portions before serving," he says independent.
"Even if they look a little bit smaller than what you're used to, you may find that they are filled enough."
In order to develop portrayal guidelines, BNF's nutrition experts reviewed the guidelines on the size of parts from other countries, analyzed the size of portions currently being consumed in the UK and the types of products available for purchase at supermarkets.
The size of the guide parts is modeled in test diets to ensure that they can meet current nutrition and nutrition recommendations.
Dr. Frankie Phillips, a dietician and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association (BDA), believes the guide will serve as a useful tool for users.
She says independent: "It's an individual guide looking at a person, not a standard system that suits one."
It also advises users to be aware when it comes to their appetite. "Our appetites vary so that what may be appropriate for one day may vary depending on when you last eat or how much the portion size can be changed," she adds.
In the meantime, diet consultant Sian Porter says the use of hand to measure food portions is "useful and practical".
"You always have hands with you and commonly used accessories such as kitchen spoon," she says independent, "They can help avoid food waste and save money too potentially if you often cook too much and then throw it away."
A Balance Finder Guide is available for download here.