Ministers and public health experts have long said that we eat too much sugar, saturated fat and salt, but less attention is paid to the portion of the portion. Now, the new guide on portion size warns people to eat too much, unaware that nutritionists have started to suggest how many meals should be eaten during the day to maintain health and help fight the obesity crisis.
The British Nutrition Fund (BNF) Handbook is designed to complement the government's recommendations on the type of food as defined in the Eatwell Guide. This explains how much of each type of food – starch carbohydrates, proteins, dairy products, fruits and vegetables and oils and spread – make up a healthy diet in 2000 calories a day that women need, and 2500 – men.
Clear sizes are clearly defined, but portion sizes are a puzzle for many. Although apple or banana is part of the same, the right amount of pasta or rice to cook to maintain a healthy weight is more difficult to evaluate. The recipes are different and many people guess and throw in the pot if they feel particularly hungry. The BNF says in its new manual that the answer is 65 g to 75 g dry weight (180 g during cooking) – or an amount that would fit in two bitches.
The guide offers spoon and hand measurements that can be lighter in everyday life than continual scales. The recommended one-off grilled chicken breast, boiled salmon fillet or cooked steak is "about half the hand". It recognizes that larger adults with larger hands will need larger portions. Cheddar cheese should not be more than “two thumbs together” and fried potatoes “for your stitches”.
The government's Eatwell guide says that our diet consists of one-third of fruits and vegetables, one-third of starch-containing carbohydrates, and the rest divided between milk and proteins. This means that BNF says we can eat five or more portions of fruit and vegetables, three to four starch carbohydrates such as potatoes, bread, rice and pasta (which according to research this week would be whole grain), and two of them: three portions of each protein food and dairy product or alternative and remain intact, without over-calories.
We don't think much about the size of portions, says Bridget Benel, BNF nutrition scientist. "The amount we charge on our plate usually depends on the size of the portion we are accustomed to consuming, how hungry we feel and how much is offered as an assistant at a restaurant table or packet or ready meal."
She says that the BNF looked at data from the National Nutrition and Nutrition Survey and found many differences in the size of portions of people. "Our recommended portion size for boiled pasta is 180 g (254 calories), but for example spaghetti portion sizes, the most commonly consumed size was 230 g (324 calories), and about 10% of the sample we watched consumed 350g as part of almost 500 calories from pasta only, before sauces and halves were added to the meal, ”she said.
The handbook says that an easy way to measure spaghetti is to use your thumb and forefinger to hold a bunch of pounds.
This indicates a lower portion of snacks, such as 20 g of unsalted nuts and seeds, or a quantity in the palm of 113 to 137 calories. The size of the snack is also 55 g of reduced fat hummus – about two tablespoons, four boiled cocktail sausages or two falafel (40g and 113 calories).
Part of the fruit or vegetables we should eat at least five days a day could be two prunes, two satsumas, seven strawberries, three stacked tablespoons of peas or carrots, one medium tomato or three celery sticks.
If you include delicacies, say a guide, they should be small, about 100 to 150 calories, not too often. Examples include a small chocolate biscuit bar, a small multicolored chips, four small chocolate squares (20 g) or a mini muffin.
The guidelines were prepared with the help of an expert group, says BNF, and funding from major food companies and supermarkets, including Waitrose, Tesco and Mark and Spencer.
Suggestions for serving
• The recommended day includes breakfast of two wheat biscuits with partially skimmed milk followed by a banana and a small 150 ml glass of orange juice. Lunch is fried potatoes for your stitches, with tuna mayonnaise made from medium-sized tin. A cereal bowl full of mixed salads can also be eaten as part of your lunch meal, as well as two mandarins. Dinner is bolognese spaghetti, served with a quantity of pasta prepared in two hands, with three tablespoons or more of broccoli. Dessert can be a small fruit with low fat yogurt. All day, people are advised to snack on fruits such as apples, as well as two oats and reduce fat soft cheese. This diet plan is equal to seven parts of fruit and vegetables, four portions of starchy foods, two portions of protein and three portions.
• The recommended spaghetti bolognese recipe consists of 75 g uncooked spaghetti per person. The recommendation states that you can measure part of one by using your finger and thumb to make the hole a £ 1 coin size. However, the amount of pasta you need may increase if you prepare food for someone with a higher calorie intake. The recommended portion of raw sugar is about 125 g, but it can be halved with a menu of other ingredients, or meat can be replaced with legumes and other vegetarian options. It is recommended to add a lot of vegetables to the bolognese sauce, such as onions, tomatoes and celery.
• Another recommended recipe is a fish pie with instructions for about 180 g of potato mash per person (about three medium potatoes) and about 120-200 g of raw fish per person. It is recommended to add vegetables such as frozen peas or spinach. All meals should be served with many boiled vegetables or salads.