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HEART HEALTH: Portion Control

Updated: Mar 16

Heart disease is the nation’s number one killer for both men and women; one person dies every 36 seconds in the US from cardiovascular disease amounting to about 690,000 people a year.

Key risk factors to increase heart disease include high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and smoking. Good news is that each of these factors are preventable and reversible.

The progression of cardiovascular disease is associated with cholesterol. When a blood vessel is healthy, there is no obstruction (like using a straw to drink water). When cholesterol is high, obstruction builds which leads to clotting and poor circulation (like using a straw to drink a thick smoothie).

One of the best ways to address cardiovascular disease includes portion control. It can be difficult to monitor our portion sizes without a scale but check out some ways to eyeball how to measure food every time you eat.

Bronze measuring cups and spoons stacked on a white table with a succulent plant


  • 2 portions of cooked rice = a light bulb

  • That's 2 servings of grains

  • Rice is low in fat and calories, try adding red peppers, onion, carrots, and little canola oil for taste


  • 1 portion of pasta is 1/2 cup = 1/2 a baseball

  • That's 1 ounce, or 1/2 cup, of carbs

  • Replacement options: Try whole grain pasta or sweet potato


  • 1 portion of meat = a deck of cards or the palm of your hand

  • That's 3 ounces of protein

  • Replacement options: chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, and beans

  • Enjoy some at every meal to build muscle and lose weight

Greens or Berries

  • 1 serving of fruits or veggies = 1 baseball or a fist

  • 1 serving of leafy greens = 2 tennis balls

Fats and oils

  • 1 portion of fat = a poker chip or a stack of four dimes

  • That's 1 teaspoon, or 1 serving, of fats and oils


  • 1 ounce = 6 large tortilla chips or 20 potato chips

  • That's 2 teaspoons of oil and 150 calories

Dessert portion

  • 1 serving = 1/2 baseball

  • That's 4 ounces or 1/2 cup

Peanut butter

  • 1 portion of peanut butter = a golf ball

  • That's 2 tablespoons or two 1-ounce servings of protein

Remember to always check in with your primary care physician to identify any additional risk factors for cardiovascular disease and methods to reduce risk.

Cardiovascular disease is serious, but the important thing is you can take control of what you eat and how much you eat to help your heart live longer and happier!!

At IVY Integrative, you can work with one practitioner or build your own team of holistic practitioners! Reach your optimum health in-person or online. Check out our Get Started page to learn how to work with us!

Your Physical Therapist,

Dr. Mièka Bryan PT, DPT







This information is generalized and intended for educational purposes only. Due to potential individual contraindications, please see your primary care provider before implementing any strategies in these posts

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