Portion sizes have always been an important concept in nutritional medicine, particularly if you’re attempting to change your body composition. Depending on your goal, either losing or gaining weight or muscle mass can dictate exactly how much and how often you’re consuming protein. This concept can become pretty complicated because most of us just want to eat for good health, so if you fit into this category of wanting to keep this simple this is a great guide to make sure you’re getting the right amount of protein for you!
A recommended serving size simply means the amount of food that you’re supposed to eat per meal or snack whereas the portion size is what you’re physically consuming (source 1)! It sounds like semantics but sometimes we’re unaware of portion control and we may exceed the recommendations that can lead to ill health. For example, eating an entire bag of chips unconsciously and then realizing there were many ‘servings’ in that bag (we’ve all done this!).
The simplest measurement is to use something that you carry around with you always, as a guide to ensure correct portion sizes, and that’s the palm of your hand! Your palm, from the base of your wrist to your first knuckle and the side of your palm dictates the thickness, is your perfect protein serving size for you for each meal! Pretty neat measuring stick huh? This may equate to approximately, for example, 80-100g of cooked protein in the form of red meat or poultry, or two eggs. As protein is an essential macronutrient it is recommended to ensure each meal has a portion of excellent quality protein!
The best, healthiest protein sources for omnivores are:
• Lean red meat
• Fish and seafood
With smaller amounts from:
• Nuts and seeds
• Legumes and beans
For more information on Dr Andrea and her top-rated, award winning podcast go to www.thewellnesswomen.com.au or find her at her at her practice: The Wellness Studio Fremantle www.thewellnesstudio.info.
1. Australian Government Department of Health & Ageing – National Health and Medical Research Council. Eat for Health, Australian Dietary Guidelines Summary 2013.