(As published on TheTownDish.com)

By Kim Knipe, Registered Dietitian, Chester County Hospital

If you are like me, you may eat a diet full of nutrient-rich, healthy foods, but you really, really like to eat. Therefore, you find yourself filling your plate a little too full or going back for seconds. Ugh, the dreaded words - portion size! Choosing the right foods, making sure that they are good for you and covering all of the food groups is only half the battle! Now, you have to make sure that you are eating the correct amount of these foods. That is, not too much of the carbs and proteins and enough of the green leafy vegetables.

So, where do we start? Well, assuming again, that you are like me, you may be better at understanding things if you have a visual demonstration. Below I will give you some examples of serving size. Keep in mind, you do not always have to stick to one serving per meal, just be sure that you are being realistic with the amounts that you lop onto your plate.

Today, we are going to cover the good stuff - the carbs. Keeping these tasty treats under control can sometimes be tough... Here are some ways to understand what the serving size should be for each. Be aware, it may shock you how many servings of these you may be currently eating at each meal. It is best if you can keep 2-3 servings of carbohydrate-rich foods

Pasta or rice (make it whole grain, if you can) -

  • Serving Size: 1/3 cup
  • Portion Size: 1 cup or a baseball

Pancake (watch the fixings) -

  • Serving Size: 1 pancake the size of a CD
  • Portion Size: 2 pancakes

Bread (again, try to make it whole grain) -

  • Serving Size: one realistic slice
  • Portion Size: two slices for a sandwich

Cereal (opt for less sugar and more fiber and top it with lowfat milk) -

  • Serving Size: 1/2 cup to a 1 cup or the size of a baseball
  • Portion Size: pretty true to the serving size

Bagel -

  • Serving Size: 1 oz or about half of what you know as an average sized bagel
  • Portion Size: About a half of an average sized bagel

Baked Potato (watch the toppings) -

  • Serving Size: 3 oz
  • Portion Size: About the size of a closed fist

Keep in mind, with carbohydrates many times comes fiber. This wonderful, non-digestible substance stays in your belly longer, therefore, keeping your full longer. Before choosing your carbs, take a look at the fiber content. An easy way to determine if a carbohydrate is high in fiber is to look at the ingredients. If it is high in fiber, the first ingredient should be a whole grain (ie. whole wheat, rolled oats, brown rice, etc.).

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