Science has confirmed that when humans are presented with more food, we consume more food. This phenomenon has been dubbed by some as the ‘portion size effect.’ Believe it or not, when portion sizes are doubled, individuals consume an average of 35% more food!
Being aware of portion size has been viewed in the past as a necessity in order to avoid negative consequences. But what if increasing portion size could lead to a positive result instead?
If we tend to consume more when faced with larger portions of unhealthy foods, what about healthy ones? If we increased the portion size of a healthful food item, would we eat more of it?
One study set out to find the answer. Researchers supplied 153 college students with large or small portions of potato chips or dried apple chips. The students who received the larger portions ate significantly more – even those who received the apple chips.
These results demonstrate that increased portion size is connected to increased consumption, whether the food is consider ‘healthy’ or not. Therefore, increasing portion sizes of the right foods may help encourage us to eat more healthfully.
Parents and grandparents, double up on those green beans for the kiddos and hope for the best! Joking aside, there are plenty of foods that you can enjoy in larger portions without guilt. Not only that, but by eating those foods, you are positively contributing to your health, even lowering your blood sugar. Here are a few diabetic-friendly favorites and delicious ways to use them!
Truly one of the most super of the super-foods, avocados offer countless health benefits. Their good fats fuel both brain and body, and their high fiber content keeps blood sugar more stable over time. It doesn’t get better than this recipe for the “Best Guacamole Ever!”
Broccoli, a treasured childhood favorite. Maybe your mom had the right idea with that whole “Just eat it, it’s good for you” thing. Broccoli’s vitamin K, vitamin C, and folate help to improve memory, and its high fiber content stabilizes blood sugar and keeps you feeling fuller longer. Forget limp broccoli blanketed with “cheese”; broccoli is at its best when added to recipes like Mama Lisa’s Coleslaw. Just shred raw broccoli stalks and mix in, or buy a bag of “broccoli slaw” from your local grocery and follow the recipe from there.
Packed with omega-3 fatty acids, salmon is a heart-healthy power protein. These fatty acids also keep your brain running in tip-top shape, improving cognition, memory, and focus. These same fatty acids also help prevent the development of cancer cells and have even been shown to kill them. While salmon is delicious with a simple slice of lemon, try this irresistible Sesame-Soy Salmon.
Nuts are great for your health. Almonds, walnuts, pistachios, are all excellent choices. Just be sure to choose as many raw, unsalted varieties as possible. The high levels of protein, healthy fats and fiber in nuts all contribute to lower, more stable blood sugar. Be it peanut, almond, or even cashew – add some delicious nut butter to your favorite cookie recipe!
Garlic has been extensively studied for its many health-giving abilities. Research is starting to suggest that it may even show promise for lowering blood sugar. A 2005 study which administered garlic orally to diabetic rats recorded significant decreases in blood glucose. Researchers also found that garlic can lower total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and increase insulin production. These rich, deliciously creamy Garlic ‘Mock’ Mashed Potatoes will be the hit of the family’s next holiday meal. Instead of potatoes, this recipe uses cauliflower. Bet someone 10 bucks that they can’t tell you the secret ingredient. You’ll win that bet every time because no way is anyone going to guess these taters are actually cauliflower!
Speaking of holiday meals – let’s talk pumpkin… seriously! Believe it or not, pumpkin is an excellent source of fiber. This makes it an especially ideal ingredient for diabetics, as fiber helps to maintain lower blood sugar.
Freshly cooked pumpkin is always the best option. Be wary of canned pumpkin, as it can contain added sugars. Stay far away from canned pumpkin pie filling as it is packed with sugar. Oh, and absolutely no Pumpkin Spice Mocha Choca Lattes – 50 grams of sugar in a medium-size!
Never fear, you can still have fries. Could it be true? Yes, pumpkin fries are real… and really delicious! Don’t miss this quick and easy recipe for Roasted Pumpkin Fries. Still yearning for something sweet? DK Pumpkin Souffled Pancakes are the perfect way to enjoy the fall flavors of pumpkin and cinnamon – and they won’t raise your blood sugar!
How about that? Did you ever think there could be scientific evidence in favor of eating more food? Just make sure you’re dishing up a second helping of the right foods. Choose those high in fiber and healthy fats to keep your belly full and your blood sugar low. Bon Appetit!