Not too much, not too little, but just the right dose to reap the most health benefits!
Before you pour a glass of wine with dinner every night, you might want to take a closer look at the science behind the heart-healthy sales pitch. Red wine—among other things—has earned a reputation as an antioxidant powerhouse that can help ward of disease and signs of aging. While studies show this is true, do you know exactly how much wine test subjects were sipping? And more importantly, will you completely cancel out the benefits if you go overboard?
Use this quick guide to learn the perfect portion size to reap the most rewards of your favorite good-for-you foods and drinks.
“Snap off a one-inch square for yourself to enjoy each night after dinner,” says Amie Valpone, author of The Healthy Apple blog and publisher of online gluten-free magazine Easy Eats. “Too much may constipate you and leave you wired before bedtime. Also, try unsweetened chocolate so you don’t have sugar highs and lows.”
“Coconut oil has a delicious taste and is great when added to recipes for a flavorful punch, but it’s not calorie-free,” Valpone says. She recommends using only 2 tablespoons a day or less if possible, as even that small amount will pack on about 30 grams of fat.
“Enjoy a few glasses of wine during the week,” Valpone says. “Three glasses a week is okay, but watch the sugar content and extra calories if you're watching your intake.”
“It’s safe to say you can have three to four cups a day, although some studies show more can help fight against certain cancers,” Valpone says.
That said, you may want to limit your intake, as one cup too many loads your body with caffeine.
“I like to recommend a half cup of almonds a day or 10 to 15 nuts throughout the day enjoyed alone, ground into cookies and pasta dishes for a creamy texture, tossed into salads, or added to smoothies,” Valpone says.
“Although it’s a good fat, [olive oil] comes with 14 grams of fat per tablespoon,” Valpone says. “Use 2 tablespoons per day: one in your omelet and one in your stir-fry, then use vinegar or chicken broth for the remainder.”
“Too much coffee can lead to jitters and shakes, as we all know the caffeine can do crazy things,” Valpone says. “I’d say one cup a day is fair, but try green or black tea instead since they're less acidic. Three cups of coffee a day is too much!”
“These healthy fats pack incredible flavor and pair perfectly on salads, with eggs, or atop poached fish and chicken,” Valpone says.
Again, however, too much avocado is unhealthy. “If this is your only source of fat, stick with one per day, but if you are already eating nuts and oils, try one-fourth or half an avocado per day,” Valpone recommends.
If you’re eating bucketfuls of pungent garlic, however, be prepared for the possibility of stomach disorders, diarrhea, and allergic reactions.