Portion control and prediabetes

Without food portion control, you can add unwanted fat and calories to your diet.

Is portion control really that important for fighting diabetes? Yes, it is! Paying close attention to portion sizes of food and beverages that are consumed daily is an important step in becoming aware of what we eat and allows us to make healthier choices.

In addition to reading food labels, use measuring cups, spoons and food scales to visually see the amount that is being eaten. Measuring food may seem like a waste of time and a brother, but very soon you will gain a real sense of what one cup of milk looks like or two tablespoons of peanut butter. Overtime, you will reduce the necessity of having to measure every food. National Diabetes Prevention Program says that even small differences in portion sizes can mean big differences in calories and fat grams.

Some measuring basics to keep in mind as you keep track of your portion sizes includes understanding cooking language that is used for measuring foods. A cup is abbreviated using “c” while teaspoon uses “tsp.” or “t” and tablespoon uses “tbsp.” or “T.” When measuring solids such as cereal, be sure to level off the top of the measuring cup with a knife. Having just two extra tablespoons of granola on an unleveled measuring cup can add three grams of fat. Liquids should be measured in a measuring cup for and at eye level on a flat surface.

Because our eyes can play tricks on us, measuring the foods you eat offers a way to become realistic with portion sizes. Reading labels to recognize the fat and calorie content in foods is one step to recognizing high-fat foods. There are three ways that you can eat less fat and fewer calories:

  1. Eat high-fat and high-calorie foods less often – Instead of having French fries every day of the week, have fries only once a week.
  2. Eat smaller amounts of high-fat and high-calorie foods – Maybe share French fries with a friend or family member.
  3. Eat low-fat and low-calorie foods instead – Try skim milk instead of whole milk or non-fat creamer in your coffee instead of cream. Be cautious that some low-fat foods can contain higher calorie content and increased sugar.

To get started Michigan State University Extension suggests thinking about two or three high-fat foods that you enjoy and write them down. Make a plan to decide how you will decrease the consumption of one of those high-fat foods by eating it less often, eating it in smaller amounts or substituting something lower in fat and calories. Set realistic goals and start small.

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