Perfect portions, please

Butterflied Chicken BreastDisgusting. Overbearing. Way too large. Yes, restaurant portions is what’s got my dander up. This Butterflied Chicken Breast from the Cheesecake Factory is about 4-6 ounces too many for one meal.

Too much protein for one meal. A body can only process about 28 grams protein at one sitting. That’s a 4 ounce chicken breast, not this one weighing in at 8-10 grams. A woman who is an average fitness enthusiast strives for about 55 grams protein all day long. This butterflied chicken breast just gave her that yet half of it will be wasted in metabolism.

What else is wrong with this picture?

Brown. White. Boring.

Remember those 11 servings of fruits and vegetables I mentioned in the last couple of blogs? Where are they here? Oh, wait, is that parsley?


Chicken Broccoli DinnerNow, this is more like it. Notice how half the plate is broccoli and oranges. The chicken breast is a modest and appropriate 4 ounces. The whole grain roll fills one-quarter of the plate perfectly.

Barbara Rolls, Phd, RD (author of Volumetrics) researched how much people eat depending on how large a portion they are served because she knew food portion size affects energy intake.  In this study, young adult men and women were served four different portions of macaroni and cheese for lunch on different days, and were allowed to consume as much food as they liked.  The data demonstrated a linear relationship between portion size served and intake. In other words, increasing the amount of macaroni and cheese served increased the amount that was consumed.

Why do portions matter to protect the health of your heart? A) big portions = big bodies. Being overweight or obese increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, some cancers and stroke. B) Most protein we eat is animal-derived meaning it has a  higher saturated fat content. For 70 years, we’ve scientifically noted saturated fat has a damaging effect on our blood vessels.

Bottom line? Cut out high-fat, big portioned beef, pork, and poultry and substitute smaller portions of white meats and fish. Even better? Cut these out altogether and eat a plant-based diet filled with legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, veggies and fruits. Vegans have the best anti-heart disease diet of all.

True dat.

Remember, small changes = big results. Even if being a vegan isn’t in your future, eating more plants can be.



Smoothie your way to a healthy heart
Winter blahs

Related Posts