Portion Control or Eating Healthy Foods?

This is a discussion my mom and I have frequently. She prefers to just eat a little less of the things she likes (oh the wonderful Italian things she likes); I prefer to eat bigger portions of healthy things.

The new USDA guidelines were released on Monday, and among their recommendations, they recommend just eating less. Which is HARD. Food with less nutrients is less filling (why you’re hungry an hour after eating a big bagel); food with more nutrients is more filling (fiber and fat are filling). They also, apparently, recommend filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables.

I did not read the whole 112-page report, but I’ve read what some people have to say about it.

I think the end quote, from Karen Miller-Kovach, chief scientific officer at Weight Watchers in the NYT story sums it up the best:

“The last many guidelines have focused on process, this many milligrams of sodium, that much fat. I think what these do is lay out the basics,” Ms. Miller-Kovach said. “If you cut calories and you make those calories count in terms of those nutrients, what happens? All those numbers fall into place.”

Most Americans don’t have food scales and aren’t measuring how many ounces of this or that they’re having. I do think common-sense guidelines are the best. I know a decent amount about nutrition (and am learning more!), but I couldn’t tell you how many grams of fat, sodium, or protein I have in a day. I think showing people what is the better choice goes a lot further than prescribing specific amounts; that’s too daunting. I agree with Miller-Kovach: if you’re making the calories you do consume full of nutrients, you will come closer to a balance; it’s pretty hard to eat too much broccoli.

Lunch is a wrap with turkey, one slice of provolone (I don’t usually do cheese…but this needed it) some spinach and hummus. Four for four on bringing lunch; I also haven’t bought any other meal this week!!!!

What about you? Team portion control or team healthy food? If you read (or read about) the new guidelines, what do you think about them?

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