How portion size impacts your risk of cancer

How portion size impacts your risk of cancer

Here’s a sobering fact: It’s estimated that one-third of all cancer deaths in the US are related to poor diet and inactivity. What’s more, research shows that extra body fat raises risk for cancers of the colon, ovaries, post-menopausal breast and other organs.

The good news here is that, to some extent, the power to prevent cancer is in your hands, and the best place to start is your plate.

Start with portions

Cut back on excess calories and maintain a healthy weight by moderating your portion sizes. Portion sizes differ from serving sizes in that a serving is a measured amount of food, whereas a portion is the number of servings of a given food that you choose to eat. For example, one portion of grilled chicken might have three servings of meat.

So how do you control your portions? Here are some easy comparisons that will help you estimate how to fill your plate with recommended portions.

Meat: 3 ounces, equal to the size of a deck of cards

Vegetables: 1 cup, equal to the size of a baseball

Fruit: 1/2 cup, equal to the size of ½ a baseball

Beans: 1/2 cup, equal to the size of ½ a baseball

Nuts: 1/3 cup, equal to the size of an adult handful

Cheese: 1½ oz., equal to the size of four dice

Change your focus

A well-rounded meal includes appropriate portions of protein, starch and leafy vegetables. When preparing meals, most people focus on the protein or meat first and craft the rest of the meal accordingly. However, you can make your meals healthier by giving your vegetables first billing, and perhaps even switching out animal protein for plant-based protein such as beans or quinoa. When you look at your plate, there should be a variety of food types as well as food colors—none taking up over one-quarter to one-third of the plate.  

Practice makes perfect

It may take some time to perfect the practice of estimating your portions and evening out your diet. But in the long run, making better food choices and managing how much you eat can prolong and improve the quality of your life.

If you still have questions about portion sizes and the types of foods you should be eating, consult your healthcare provider.

Posted: 8/19/2015 by Goshen Health
Filed under: cancer, eating, healthy, portion

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