Healthy Food Portions – Breads and Grains

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,555
    Debbie Woehler from the Oliver Foundation discusses appropriate portion sizes for cereals, pastas, breads, bagels, rice, tortillas, muffins, etc.

    Deborah Woehler: Hi! I am Deborah Woehler from the Oliver Foundation, and we have been talking about how to create healthy portion sizes.

    Today, we are going to talk about the bread and grain group, and those serving sizes. It's recommended that most Americans have between 6 and 11 servings per day, and a serving is about 70 calories. So you really need to read the labels and be aware of what is approximately 70 calories or that serving size.

    The group and I encourage you to use as much as you can, the whole grain breads and cereals includes items like cereal, the breads, peanuts, bagels, we are going more details with these, pastas, couscous, pearl pasta, rice, there are so many varieties.

    But let's come back here and talk about the cereal first. I have brought into cereals today and one is the cheerios and the approximate serving size, little under a cup for about 70 calories. This is a popular granola. This is essentially high in fat and higher in calories, and the recommended serving size, pour the container on the package is a half of a cup. And a half of a cup is a whopping 220 calories.

    If you added a whole milk at a 160 calories versus a skim milk, to just that half of a cup serving, you'll again increase the calories by another 80 calories. Taking the same example with the cheerios by using this skim milk, you have a breakfast that's a little under 200 calories. And that's before we add the fruit or any juices versus one that if you use similar serving sizes or portions, you are going to have a cereal bowl that's 400, 500, may be 600 calories.

    So let's take a look at some of our grain sources. We talked about before the grains bean better if they are whole grain not just brown colored, but also that its serving size is about one ounce.

    We've talked quite a bit about the small bagel bean what you want out serving and then if we look at this bagel, if we cut it into four equal parts that would be four servings.

    Now again, this is before we add any fats, margarines, oils, cheeses, jams, jellies. So this is just your grain serving size. Then we'll look over at these types of grains and pastas. We are talking about cooked, I didn't even cook everything today but cooked serving sizes of the whole grains; rice, the white rice, the couscous, the other types of grain pastas, macaroni pastas, a half of a cup would be a serving size and so a cooked half cup looks approximately like this.

    Another popular food that falls into this group, it would be pretzels, because they are naturally low in fat, and so this is an excellent snack for you and your kids, and this also falls into the grain group. We've talked quite a bit in the bread and grain group, about just the bread and grains themselves, but also important are the toppings you put on them.

    Let's look at a tomato sauce or a marinara sauce that generally runs anywhere between 40-70 calories per serving, and a serving size is about a half of a cup, and that's going to more than adequately cover that pasta serving.

    Then if we take something like a creamy Alfredo; where it's about 110 calories, so you have to know there is a lot of fat in that. A serving is just a fourth of a cup, so that's half of the amount, and how that's going to look on your food, and a fourth of a cup would just about do that. And I would say in a restaurant you probably have even more of the Alfredo sauce. So something that you might be wondering, why didn't we include some of these types of foods?

    Scones, croissants, muffins, doughnuts, bear claws, fritters these are not considered in the grain and bread group. These are high fat sources, and they should be included in the other with the fats, oils, and the sweets to use in moderation or should we say, even extreme moderation. So not only are they high fat sources, they are relatively large portion sizes.

    So that's adding a lot of additional fat and saturated fat to your diet. So again, I just -- I want to stress that these should be used in an almost extreme moderation and are not included in the bread and grain group.