Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pour a shot and make a toast to ...

... ALMONDS! For those of you who were hoping this was going somewhere else, maybe you're not reading the right blog. Perhaps you meant to go here.

I'm just plain nuts about almonds. They're a really delicious and convenient snack. Yes, they contain quite a bit of fat, but it's the good kind of fat. And it just doesn't get any better than that when it comes to fat!

They're also a good source of protein, calcium, iron and vitamin E. You can read all about it here, if you're so inclined. Jeez, it's only day five and already I'm getting lazy. That's because this post wasn't intended to be about almonds — it's really about portion size.

Remember that shot glass? Well it turns out that a serving of almonds fills a shot glass. Isn't that convenient? I don't know about you, but I have a few problems with the portion system, if there even is one. Take a pint of ice cream, for example. That's four servings. Really? Not on my couch! Sometimes it's hard to know just how much we're really eating.

Back to almonds: The can says 28 almonds constitute a serving. Without any education about the matter, I'd look at that and grab a fistful and say, yeah, that's about right. In reality, I'd probably have 122 almonds in my grasp.

So what I'm proposing here is an occasional reality check. I'm against obsessive measurements of any kind (see my first post), so I'm not suggesting that you weigh or measure or count everything you eat.

What I am proposing is that you just occasionally pull out the measuring cup or that pack of playing cards that's the benchmark for fish and meat servings and consider how much you're really eating. After just a couple of tries, you'll get the idea.

This is not about weight loss, though certainly reducing portion sizes would aid in that. This is about health. If we kid ourselves about how much we're eating, then chances are we're getting a lot more of a lot of things, such as saturated fats and sodium, than maybe we should. It's even possible to overdo the good stuff, such as the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.

I'm not trying to place blame, mind you. After all, we live in a super-size society, and our nation as a whole is starting to show it. I'm just advocating that we all think a little bit more about what we eat, and how much of it we're eating.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go knock back a shot.

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