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Stabroek News

Food portions show up in waistline bulge
published: Wednesday | April 18, 2007


Charlyn Fargo, Contributor

In weight control, portion control is often the most important factor. In a recent study, the bigger the student, the more they ate.Researchers at Colorado State and San Diego State universities found that college students with higher body mass indexes (BMI) tend to look at larger food portions as the norm and end up eating significantly larger amounts of higher calorie foods. Results of the study were reported in the April issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association. The researchers surveyed 51 students and found when allowed to select their own portion sizes, participant BMI is a very strong predictor of larger than recommended amounts of food.

This finding agrees with previous research that suggests increased portions lead to increased intake. Study participants chose 'substantially larger' portion sizes of 10 out of 15 foods and drinks, which included potato chips, rice, tortilla chips, pudding, peanut butter, macaroni and cheese, water and soda. The students' BMI alone 'positively predicted' the selection of larger portion of six foods.

"In addition, participants chose significantly larger portion sizes for high-carbohydrate foods when compared to high-fat foods," the researchers wrote. "Women estimated lower portions of the (high-calorie), high-fat and high-carbohydrate foods when compared to men. Because the diet food industry has traditionally targeted women, it is possible that women are better than men at regulating portion sizes of foods that are more likely to increase body weight."

The bottom line? If you're trying to lose weight, reduce your portion sizes.

WINNING QUESTION

What is the best way to use whole-wheat flour instead of white flour in a recipe?

A: To use whole-wheat flour, substitute one cup of whole-wheat flour minus one tablespoon for every one cup of all-purpose white flour. You can make recipe transitions more gradual by changing a recipe that calls for white flour with half whole-wheat and half white flour.

Over time, you can increase the proportion of whole-wheat flour. Because whole-wheat flour provides more fibre, vitamins, minerals and natural plant compounds, the greater the proportion of whole-wheat flour, the better.

If you prefer a lighter texture than typically comes with using all stone-ground, whole-wheat flour, try whole-wheat pastry flour. White whole-wheat flour is another option that has a slightly milder flavour.

- American Institute for Cancer Research.

WINNING RECIPE

I am always looking for new ways to serve a chicken breast. This recipe for Raspberry-Glazed Rosemary Chicken, from allrecipes.com, fits the bill.

RASPBERRY-GLAZED ROSEMARY CHICKEN

1 tablespoon crushed rosemary

1 teaspoon rubbed sage

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

8 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

1/4 cup fat-free chicken broth

1 cup raspberry preserves

1/2 teaspoon honey mustard

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Yields 8 servings.

Method

Preheat oven to 350 F. In small bowl, stir together crushed rosemary, sage and oregano. Rub one side of each chicken breast with herb mixture. Place chicken breasts herb side up in baking dish. Pour broth over breasts.Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes. Place raspberry preserves in microwavable bowl and heat for 20 to 30 seconds to soften. Stir in honey mustard and rosemary. Spread about one tablespoon of preserve mixture over each breast. Bake 10 minutes.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 240 calories, 27.5 g protein, 28.1 g carbohydrate, 1.6 g fat, 68 mg cholesterol, .2 g dietary fibre, 85 mg sodium.


Charlyn Fargo is a registered dietitian.Visit Copley News Service at www.copleynews.com.

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