Visual Cues Help Manage Portion Sizes and Blood Sugar

A Helpful Way to Gauge Food Portions Away From Home

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Visual cues acts as an approximate gauge for determining a sensible serving of food. The best visual cues are objects you know well, such as a fist, deck of cards or baseball. Knowing the approximate size helps you know how much to put on our plate. Visual cues are particularly helpful when you can’t measure or weigh your food because you lack the time or are eating away from home.

When you have diabetes, controlling your portion size is important both for blood sugar management and keeping your weight in check.

Here are some of the most common visual cues used to assess portion size:

  • Medium potato = size of a computer mouse
  • Average bagel = size of a small hockey puck
  • 1 cup fruit = size of a baseball
  • 1 cup lettuce leaves = four leaves
  • 3 ounces grilled fish = size and thickness of a checkbook
  • 1 ounce cheese = size of four dice
  • 1 teaspoon peanut butter = size of a large grape
  • 1 ounce pretzels = a large handful
  • 3 oz meat or poultry = a deck of cards
  • 3 oz fish = a checkbook
  • 1 oz cheese = 4 dice
  • 1 cup pasta or veggies = a tennis ball
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit = a golf ball
  • 1 tsp butter or margarine = tip of your thumb
  • 2 Tbsp mayonnaise, oil, or dip = a ping-pong ball

It’s important to remember that a sensible portion size does not equate to the same number of carbohydrates for each serving of food. You can learn the number of carbohydrates for these and thousands of other foods with a convenient resource called Calorie Count.

You can then count the carbohydrates as an easy way to put together a meal plan that will help you manage your blood sugar.

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