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Why Portion Size Matters for Healthy Food

By Lana Bandoim

After a long day of deprivation and following a strict diet, the cooked quinoa with sesame butter sauce may look divine. Even the stale trail mix may look appetizing. However, before you pile extra portions on a plate, consider the following tips. Even healthy food requires strict portion control.

Portion Sizes and Diets

Diets often limit the type of food people can consume. They also restrict the portion sizes to reduce total calories and promote weight loss. Although healthy food such as quinoa or broccoli soup is safe on most diets, it still has many calories. It is important to pay attention to portion sizes and not overeat.

Quinoa and Sesame Butter Sauce

The combination of quinoa and sesame butter sauce seems healthy on the surface. However, one tablespoon of sesame butter may have 89 calories, and two cups of quinoa have about 400 calories. A serving of this dish can easily go over 500 calories. Although both quinoa and sesame butter are nutritious and have protein, it is still important not to eat an enormous plate, especially if you're not exercising.  

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Cream of broccoli soup may seem like a safe alternative. Broccoli has fiber, vitamins, minerals and calcium. Unfortunately, most brands of cream of broccoli soup have 500 calories in one cup. It is easy to fill a soup plate with several cups and go over the total calories for the day. Consider eating raw broccoli or cooking a lighter version of the soup with less cream.

Trail Mix

You cannot trust quinoa or broccoli soup, so is trail mix safe? Even a version without chocolate morsels or chips may have too many calories. A cup of trail mix from the store may have 700 or more calories. It is easy to eat a bag of trail mix and consume thousands of calories without thinking. Nuts and seeds are packed with minerals and protein, but they also have calories.


Fat-free and low sodium pretzels are often considered a healthy snack. However, the fat-free label can be misleading because they may still contain many calories. A typical serving of pretzels can have 200 calories. Pay attention to the entire ingredient list and do not be fooled by fat-free claims. Consider limiting the portions and hiding the bag so you are not tempted to overeat.  

Even healthy food requires portion control. Before adding extra cream of broccoli soup to a plate or emptying a bag of trail mix, count the calories.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic.

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