You check labels, so you think you know exactly what you're consuming. Not so fast, people! Certain foods contain more servings than you'd think. Here are some to watch out for...
DON'T BE A CHIP CHUMP...
Potato Chips have roughly 160 calories per serving. That doesn't sound too awful--until you notice that the label claims there are 12 servings in each 12 oz. bag. And let's face it, there's no way you can get 12 servings out of a single bag of chips. In truth, the typical person would likely get about 3-4 servings out of a bag of chips. And, if you did have a 1/4 of a bag, you'd be swallowing 480 calories, and 30g of fat. Eat 1/3 of a bag, and those numbers jump to 640 calories and 40g of fat. Yikes! CAUTION: Diet-friendly chips are not immune to portion distortion. For example, each bag of Glenny's Soy Crisps contains TWO servings of crisps, when any normal person would polish that bag off in a single serving. You've got to remember to double the nutritional numbers listed to get an accurate reading. Luckily, even doubled, a bag of Glenny's Soy Crisps has only 140 calories.
It seems that it would be safe to assume that a personal pan sized pizza is meant for, well, a person. According to nutritional labels, though, many of those small circles of cheesy goodness are meant for THREE people. For example, Pizza Hut claims there are three servings in their personal pan pizzas, and DioGiorno says there are three servings in their small frozen ones. Even healthier pizzas, like those made by Heaven's Bistro, have the same unfortunate portion problems. The bottom line is you can't just assume that a small frozen or fast food pizza pie is one serving. Always check nutritional info to make sure. HG Tip: Some AWESOME one serving pizzas you may want to try are South Beach Diet Pepperoni Pizza with Harvest Wheat Crust (290 calories, 10g fat) and Healthy Choice French Bread Pizza (340 cal, 5g fat).
Can you go through a bag of microwave popcorn in one sitting? That's what we thought. Even when you eat good-for-you popcorn like Jolly Time's 94% FF Healthy Pop Popcorn, the calories add up quickly. Eat an entire 2.5 serving bag by yourself, and you'll take in 250 calories and over 57 carbs. Go for the less healthy popcorn options and the numbers can be much higher. For example, a bag of Orville Redenbacher's Ultimate Butter Microwave Popcorn contains 480 calories, 33g of fat, 7.5g of saturated fat and 45 carbs. HG Tip: Go for Jolly Time's Healthy Pop Mini Bags. Each bag contains only one serving, so portion control is a no brainer.
SOUP HEADS UP!
It seems Campbell's, Progresso, and most other soup companies, expect you to eat half a can of soup, and save the rest for later. After all, they claim there are TWO servings in a can of soup. Yeah, right. Who's going to eat half a can of soup? So, once again, the nutritionals listed on the can need to be multiplied by the serving size (which in the case of most soups, is two). Bummer.
SHATTERED ICE CREAM DREAMS
Breyer's Cal Smart Double Churned Vanilla Ice Cream has just 70 calories per serving. That serving size? A 1/2 cup. And that's a lightly packed 1/2 cup, at that. Yikes! Turns out each gallon of ice cream supposedly contains 14 servings. Yeah, right! You may get SEVEN servings out of that carton, if you're lucky. Light ice creams are great--but you've got to measure out your portions. And if you can't stick to a serving size (or two, if you're splurging) stick to individually wrapped frozen treats like no sugar added fudge bars or Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwiches.
Question: You're making some spaghetti just for you. How much of that box of pasta should you use? 1/4? 1/5? Try 1/8. Believe it or not, that's how many servings there are supposed to be in that tiny package of pasta. Cooked, your portion should be the size of a tennis ball! Who could get full on that? The upsettingly small portion sizes listed on pasta boxes are annoying and unrealistic. Typically, a person eats three times the recommended serving size--and, consequently takes in about three times the calories (aka 600 or so). Eeeks. HG Tip: Our advice is to try Shirataki Noodles. A whole package has just 40 calories. Noodle-tastic!
CHEW ON THIS: January 6th is National Bean Day. Some nutrition experts say black beans are one of the healthiest foods in the world.
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