Tuesday, February 24, 2009

what your portion should be.

(image source: www.hsph.harvard.edu)

so, i've been giving the "stop eating red meat to save your planet" thing a lot of thought. it is pretty tough to know that a meat-based diet is bad for the environment, but i'm trying to put it into perspective. upon further research, many experts recommend cutting your (red) meat portions down to 4 per week and restricting them to the size of a deck of cards. so, i'm pretty much rolling my eyes while writing this. how much meat does one really need? and isn't the deck-of-cards thing how we are supposed to determine meat portion sizes anyway? and do we really need to have red meat every day? switch it up! be creative! there are so many other options out there, i've decided these principles mostly would change the eating habits of the fast-food, white bread, meat-and-potatoes crowd.
harvard revised the usda food pyramid (as seen above) and you can see that it focuses on whole grains, good fats, fruits and vegetables, supplemented with lean proteins and red meat. just because i'm carnivorous doesn't mean i have to have a steak for every meal, but i think that doing so a couple times a week keeping in mind the deck-of-cards portion will do me a heck of a lot more good than harm (especially since my particular diet doesn't allow me proteins of the vegetarian variety.)

so, here are a few examples of meat portions from the typical American diet.

mcdonald's quarter pounder

serving size - 6 oz.
calories - 430
fat - 21 grams protein - 23 grams

outback special steak

serving size - 12 oz.
calories - 820
fat - 50 grams
protein - 90 grams

bk original whopper

serving size - 10.26 oz.
calories - 720
fat - 43 grams
protein 31 grams

in and out double double hamburger

serving size - 11.64 oz.
calories - 670
fat - 41 grams
protein - 37 grams

(all stats from www.chowbaby.com)
as you can see, all of these options are considerably over the recommended 3.1 ounces of meat (with only half of that being red) per day. in conclusion, i'm officially over feeling guilty for my meat consumption.
oh, and if you're checking my math on the sandwiches, i do know that the serving size includes the bun and toppings, but if you refer to the smallest portion - the mcdonald's quarter pounder, a quarter pound equals four ounces, going over the limit with one little meal.

1 comment:

  1. I shouldn't be shocked at the number of calories because I know how unhealthful fast food burgers are, but it is still always surprising to look at the real numbers. Hmmm...so deck of cards. I'm still trying to understand serving sizes and ounces right now. People keep comparing it to what fits in my palm, or the size of my hand...or now should I be picturing my Euchre game?