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Recipes have increased their calories in food over the years

Posted on Feb 04, 2009 by Maggie LaBarbera

We know we have to watch portion sizes when we eat out/or get take out food, but what about when we cook at home? Larger portion sizes means more calories in food.

The next time you pull out your recipe book, you may be surprised to know that the recipes may have a great deal more calories than when your grandma made that same recipe!

Dr Brian Wansink, director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion and MyPyramid, will be publishing a new study about how recipes have changed in overall calories over the years. He looked at eighteen recipes in the book "The Joy of Cooking" that have been listed in the first edition back in 1936 and all subsequent editions. He compared it over the years as new editions have been released.

Here is the result of his study:

  • recipes in today's version were 63% higher in calories per serving
  • recipes had an average of 168 calories more per serving than its original publication in 1936
  • 2/3s of the increased calories came from the recipe using more calorie dense ingredients (higher fat content-and/or higher sugar content)
  • 1/3 of the increased calories came from larger portions sizes! (for example: back in 1936 a serving might have been listed as 1/2 cup and today's version, the serving may be 2/3 cup
So even though you are cooking at home, we still need to be careful of portion sizes.

Here are a couple tips you can use to help your child and family eat healthier:

  • following a recipe, use healthy substitutes when appropriate (lower fat ingredients and less sugar)
  • serve a couple of healthy, tasty side dishes (fresh fruit salad, veggies with low calorie dip)
  • serve your child in smaller plates, like the salad plate or a "kids" sized plate
  • serve your child small portions, they can always serve seconds if they are still hungry
  • don't make them eat everything on their plate, help them learn to listen to their body when its full
  • mealtime is great time to share the events of the day, it can take up to 20 minutes for our bodies to realize its full


1 Comment

Saturday, Mar 28, 2009 @ 12:35 AM

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The maintenance phase of weight management - that's the real challenge. Keep that weight under control once you've lost the pounds. If you've heard of a good management program, I'd love to know about it.

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