Food: here’s how to calculate the ideal portions with your hands: Femme Actuelle Le MAG

It’s no secret that to be in good health, it is essential to eat healthy and have a varied diet. On the menu: fruits, vegetables, starches, proteins and dairy products. Yes, but in what quantities? This is a crucial question, because eating well also means not eating too much, nor too little!

Recommendations for filling our plates are often counted in grams. The National Health Nutrition Program (PNNS), a public health plan aimed at improving the health of French people through food, recommends, for example, consuming 80 to 100 g of vegetables or even 30 g of cheese per day. To follow these recommendations, it is possible to weigh your food, but this is not always easy! To quantify food, we also speak of portions: concerning fruits and vegetables, the PNNS recommends for example “at least 5 per day, for example 3 servings of vegetables and 2 fruits”.

How to navigate and know what a portion of meat, vegetables or cheese corresponds to? There is an effective method. To experience it, you just need… your hands!

Food portions: the hands, a measuring tool adapted to everyone

“Your hands are perfect for measuring the right portion for you”. This is written by the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF), a British organization that offers this method in a guide called “Find Your Balance”.

The idea? Use your hands as a food measuring tool to choose the right proportions of food. Since nutritional requirements vary depending on height, the hands can give an idea of ​​how much food each person needs. Logically, “taller people will automatically have larger portions and short people will have smaller portions”.

The British Nutrition Foundation specifies, however, that “The servings shown in this guide are averages for healthy adults. If you are tall or very active you may need more food.”.

Meat, cheese… How do you choose the right food portions with your hands?

Meat, vegetables, cheese… Your hands and fingers are good indicators for choosing the right quantities! In its guide, the British Nutrition Foundation unveils its recommendations, based “on a consumption of 2000 kcal per day, the amount estimated for an adult woman of average weight”, is it indicated. Here are examples of portions to eat daily for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, a snack or even dinner for various foods:

  • Fresh fruits : a handful or more;
  • The vegetables : a handful or more;
  • Raw rice : two handles;
  • The pasta floods : two handles;
  • Cooked pasta : the quantity that can be put in two joined hands;
  • Cooked rice : the quantity that can be put in two joined hands;
  • The cereals : three handles;
  • Baked potatoes : the quantity corresponding to the size of his hand;
  • Oatmeal : a handful and a half;
  • Plain popcorn : three handles;
  • Grilled chicken breast : half of a hand, which corresponds to the palm;
  • Fish (salmon, cod, etc.): half of a hand, which corresponds to the palm;
  • The cooked steak : half of a hand, which corresponds to the palm;
  • Nuts and seeds : the quantity that can be put in one hand;
  • Cheese (cheddar, brie…): the amount corresponding to the size of two inches together.

“If you want to be really precise then the best way is to weigh your food”, however, notes the British Nutrition Foundation. This method of calculating the right quantities of food with the hands nevertheless makes it possible to “give you an idea of ​​the size of a portion”, is it specified in the guide. A good way to learn to recognize a balanced plate and instinctively adopt the right reflexes at each meal!

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