Portion Size Series Grains

Registered Dietitian Mia Syn, MS, RD debunks grain portion size – how much we need and what sources are the best. Did you know that 3 cups of popcorn is equivalent to a slice of bread?

Many of us know how to eat healthy but we forget about the importance of portion control which can really make or break a diet. As a dietitian, this is one of the first things I educate my clients on.

The thing with portions is that they can be deceiving. They vary from food group to food group and from food to food.

Today I am covering grains and one macronutrient that we are all know and love – carbohydrates.

Carbs are one of three main types of nutrients needed in the diet and are found largely in grains. Our digestive system changes carbs to blood sugar which fuels cells, tissues and organs.

Carbohydrates are found in a wide variety of food – both those considered healthy and unhealthy. From brown rice pasta and popcorn to soda and cake. You can read more about “good” versus “bad” carbs here. Additionally, carbohydrates are found in more than your traditional bread or pasta. Foods like fruit, vegetables and dairy products contain this macronutrient, as well.

A serving of popcorn looks very different than a serving of brown rice pasta. For example 1 slice of bread is equivalent to 3 cup of popcorn (popped)!

The recommendation is that healthy adults should aim for 5-8 ounce equivalents of grains per day and at least half of them should be whole grains.

Here is a list of grains to incorporate into your diet and what one serving looks like:

1″ mini bagel
1 regular slice of bread
1/2 cup cooked bulgur
5 whole wheat crackers
1/2 english muffin
1/2 cup cooked oatmeal
3 cups popcorn (popped)
1/2 cup rice, cooked
1/2 cup pasta, cooked
1 corn tortilla

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Nutrition By Mia