Healthy Food Portions – Fats

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,594
    Debbie Woehler from the Oliver Foundation discusses fat portion sizes.

    Deborah Woehler: Hi! I am Deborah Woehler with the Oliver foundation and we have been talking about how to make healthy portion sized choices. Today, we are talking about fats and hidden fats and how to select healthy portion sizes from your fats. So when we are talking about oils like olive oil, canola oil, butter or margarine, a serving size is one teaspoon and that's one teaspoon flat across the top. So let's look at how one teaspoon of a fat serving looks. That's according to MyPyramid. And these are food groups, remember, that we want to use sparingly in the diet. First of all, let's look at the butters and margarine. This is one teaspoon or one serving of margarine. Now, this may look more like a pad of butter that you see at a restaurant and this is three teaspoons or one tablespoon, so well over 100 calories for this one pad of butter. So let's look at the olive oil and it could be any other type of oil, but this is one teaspoon of olive oil. Quite frequently in a restaurant, the olive oil has been served at the table in a much larger bowl. So I would suggest that you pour the olive oil on to your bread plates that you know exactly how much you have had. So let's take a look at what that looks like. So next time you go out to a restaurant, this is what a teaspoon of olive oil looks like.

    Progressing on, let's look at some salad dressings and I have talked a lot about reading the labels. What the labels say are not necessarily what one fat serving or one serving size should be. So I portion down; the label on this particular product says a serving is two tablespoons. We'll have to get our fat equivalent; it's really one tablespoon. So you need to read the labels and do the math. As opposed to a high-fat salad dressing, you might want to consider using a light or fat-free salad dressing. They still contain some calories, so you want to read the labels on these also. You may want to consider extending either types of dressings, the low fat or the full fat, the regular salad dressings if that's your absolute favorite and extend it with a wine vinegar, a balsamic vinegar, a Sherry vinegar, the flavored vinegars go on and on. So there are many, many to choose from. The mayonnaise is another one that's a little misleading. This is the two-teaspoon serving which equals back to approximately the one teaspoon of the olive oil, margarine or butter. Again, this is a full fat mayonnaise and there are lights and low fats, so many versions to choose from. So I want you to take a look at how some of these fats and oils visually look when they are served on your food. So, for example, the teaspoon of margarine, butter sounds like a lot, but when you start spreading it on your toast, it barely covers that one slice of toast. So that's one example. When you start spreading the mayonnaise on your sandwich, that one serving will cover that one slice of bread. So just be aware of the serving sizes that you are using.

    Let's talk about some meats whether it's beef, chicken, fish, and just for simplicity calorie wise, let's say that we have a 100-calorie piece of chicken or fish or meat. As a general rule of thumb if that item has been sauted or fried, that will add 3-4 times the calories, sometimes 5, depending on the breading. Another thing to look at for and ask, you may have ordered that healthy chicken salad where the chicken was grilled, or the fish was grilled. But many times that chicken or fish is actually soaked or marinated in a butter or oil sauce for 12-24 hours, probably why it tastes so good. So that's another hidden fact and it's a big restaurant trick. So it's something that you might want to ask about. Sometimes we only think when we are having something healthy like tuna salad, macaroni salad is quite popular, especially during the summer time. Oh, and then we have added the healthy apple and we have added the carrots to it, but these are all mayonnaise base. It would be my guess, as your guess, how much mayonnaise was added to these. Again, it was the rule of three of four times more calories than the tuna itself or the macaroni than itself. So when you go through your day from breakfast, snakes and high-fat snake foods, it's a little wonder that Americans are putting on a lot of weight. You can literally add thousands of calories to your daily intake just from fat calories. Fat is really a key to weight control and been healthy.