Recently a brief article in The Annals of Internal Medicine featured The Joy of Cooking. Brian Wansink, a food researcher at Cornell University, and his staff surveyed the seven editions of The Joy of Cooking and found that only 18 recipes have appeared in all seven editions. (Disappointingly, the letter does not list which ones they are.)
Between the 1936 edition and the 2006 edition, the average number of servings in a recipe decreased by a little over 1 serving per recipe, and the average number of calories in a serving increased by over 60%.
What's especially interesting is that Dr. Wansink's team notes that the average serving sizes increased by about 33% (one-third) since 1996. Just because that recipe you got from mom or read in a cookbook states that it serves 4 doesn't necessarily mean that those four servings represent appropriate portion sizes. Use the portion sizes for recipes at DrGourmet.com as a guide or use the table in my column on Portion Size as a reference. You'll soon know what a real portion looks like, on paper or on your plate.
Here are some recipes that can help you understand the right portion sizes:
Asian Beef with Broccoli
Roasted Salmon with Corn Relish
Soft Corn Tacos
Eat well, eat healthy, enjoy life!
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