Janet Brown, RD, LRD
Licensed Registered Dietitian
Free consultations for NDSU students
Janet Brown is also available by appointment to NDSU staff and faculty at hourly rate of $45.To schedule an appointment, call 701-231-5207.
Portion Control: Think Half
For most people, a portion is whatever the bowl will hold or the serving spoon will scoop and scoop and scoop. Unfortunately, this method of measurement (or lack of) has gotten Americans into a weight crisis. We need to adjust our eyes, stomach and mentality to serve what we NEED rather what we think we WANT.
How do I know what is an appropriate serving? For the typical American, it’s likely HALF of what is currently consumed. The easiest way is to go to mypyramid.org. This website will give you the standard servings for any food or beverage. Nutrition Facts Labels also list serving size for one.
Once you know the appropriate serving sizes, I recommend you start weighing and measuring. Yes, this means get out the measuring cups and spoons and measure every food and beverage for one week. This will enable you to ‘eyeball’ most portions.
Another easy method of keeping your portions appropriate at lunch and dinner is to fill HALF your plate with vegetables (salad, hot veggies, fresh veggies with a light dip). The other half could be one quarter protein and one quarter starch, or a sandwich or 6-inch sub, or 1-2 slices of pizza (not the equivalent to a large). This allows you to ‘fill up’ on a very nutritious and very low-calorie food.
Healthy Eating . . . on the Run!!
Meals plans through NDSU Dining Services are flexible. This gives you continuous, unlimited access. To have access to the dining centers an unlimited number of times per day is like living at home. Think of it as your own personal kitchen with your own chefs! They've done all the grocery shopping and preparation and cooking. How can you take advantage of this heathfully?
Each time you dine, aim for a balanced snack or meal. Take advantage of the healthful options like fresh fruit and cheese/yogurt/peanut butter, hummus and pita/cucumbers, half a sandwich or veggies and dip. Be prepared to enjoy (not scarf) these IN the dining center. If you need something quick to grab-and-go, one piece of whole fresh fruit is legal to take.
Use the new meal plan of continuous, unlimited access, to incorporate exercise. Walk (or bike) as often as possible from class to a dining center. If time permits, choose the dining center furthest from your class to add more steps to your day. One options is to go to a dining center before and after every class.
One of the worst mistakes you can make is skipping meals; this encourages your metabolism to store rather than burn. You may have heard that eating small, frequent meals speeds up the metabolism - it's true! The new meal plan enables this positive behavior. Plan to eat in a dining center a minimum of four times a day.
Improve Your Health - Dump Trans fats
A diet high in trans fat can raise LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, and lower levels of HDL, or "good" cholesterol, according to the American Dietetic Association. The result can be an increase in the amount of plaque build-up in artieries, increasing the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Although small amounts of trans fat occurs naturally in some foods, most trans fats are man-made through a prcess called hydrogenation that turns liquid oils into solid fats.
You cannot avoid trans fats completely, but here are some ways to limit your intake:
- Use food labels to choose foods low in combined saturated and trans fat (combined total should be less than 15 grams per day).
- Check ingredients for shortening or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil - a sign of trans fats.
- Replace saturated and trans fats with olive or canola oil which are healthful for your heart and brain.