Ask These 5 Questions Before You Take Another Bite

1. How important is portioning my food?

I think Roxy is a little extreme with her tiny white bowl that she uses to portion food you shouldn't have too much of. And of course, she thinks I'm too extreme with my giant red bowl. And the truth is, that red bowl just doesn't get used anymore like it used to. Roxy's finally made an impact on me over the past 30 years and I've realized the essential role portion control now plays in my life (and my pant size). 

2. Are foods in the same food group equal?

I love almonds, macadamia nuts and peanut M&M's. Somehow in our brain it's easy to classify them all as equal, but by just taking a quick look on the back of the label you'll notice the drastic differences. And not just with nuts–do this with all of your food groups and try to pick the healthiest option about 80% of the time, and a good rule of thumb is to go with the lowest calories. There's 40% MORE calories in macadamia nuts than almonds. Who'd have thought!

3. Potato chips or corn chips?

Take a bag of Lay's potato chips and compare it to fritos corn chips and it turns out–they're the same. So if you're going to eat trash food, then eat whichever one you like. So the point is to portion the amount of junk food you're taking. Stick with Roxy's portioned bowl, not my giant red bowl that would fit the entire bag. 

4. Is morning cereal really all that bad?

I love me some honey smacks! And sometimes it's easy to get into the routine of pouring a quick bowl of cereal to fuel our morning because it's just so darn easy. Is it really all that bad? Well, ask yourself this, "How much sugar is in your cereal?". Just in my normal sized honey smacks bowl of cereal has 11 teaspoons of sugar in it!

5. There's HOW MUCH salt in my chicken already?

The top 3 things that I commonly find my patients eating the most that have the largest amount of salt in them are pizza, cheese and chicken! Chicken? Yup. Ever heard of poultry plumping? Most chicken is injected with salt water to plump the chicken to make it look larger. What you'll have to do is take a quick look at the front of the packing and look to see the % of retained water your chicken has. 

  • You want to look for something that has 5% or less.
  • Most chicken is 15% to 20%.
  • An average serving of chicken is 1oz.
  • The average man eats 6.5oz.
  • Which ends up being about 2400mg-2600mg of salt in your unsalted chicken BEFORE you add any additional salt for seasoning.

So let's watch our portions, lower our amount of sugar intake, pay attention to food labels, avoid processed food and eat fresh. This'll keep you alive, healthy and off of medications or will enable you to lower the amount of your medications so you can focus on spending and enjoying time with your family and friends to live a long & healthy life.

With My Best,
-Dr. Madsen

Leave your comment below and let me know which of the 5 questions you can start asking yourself more frequently. Is there one that sounds out (or maybe all of them)?

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Dan Madsen

Dr. Madsen is a family doctor in Chillicothe, Ohio.