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"SPEAKING OF DIETS, TALK TO THE HAND," SAY FOSTER FARMS’ NUTRITION EXPERTS Portion Control, Better Food Choices, and Creative Flavors are Right in the Palm of Your Hand

LIVINGSTON, Calif. – Forget measuring cups, clunky scales and painful pinches with that body fat caliper. What if a tool to better health was right there in front of you? According to nutrition experts at the West Coast’s leading poultry producer, Foster Farms, you need look no further than the palm of your hand.
“Most Americans are tired of decoding nutrition. Our philosophy is that it is easy to eat healthfully when you have the right information and nutritious foods at your fingertips, literally,” explains Nancy Bennett, MS, RD, CDE, one of the company’s two nutritionist spokespersons. “The hand, believe it or not, is a convenient tool for guiding portion sizes.”

Appropriate portion sizes, according to Manuel Villacorta, MS, RD, are vital to getting results when it comes to losing weight or getting healthier. “You can exercise all you want, or eat salad for weeks on end, but good nutrition comes from eating the right portions of the right foods and nutrients. It’s not about depriving yourself – I’d rather know that I can have a glass of wine in a certain quantity, than attempt to avoid it all together and eventually fail.”

From pinky to fist, each person’s hand is proportional to their overall size and body makeup, making it a go-anywhere guide for better portion sizes. Here are some of Nancy and Manuel’s favorite tips:
• Fist (½ cup): Use your fist to judge one recommended serving of cooked pasta.
• Thumb (1 tsp): Use the tip of your thumb to measure a pat of butter. Use the length from the knuckle of your thumb to its tip to judge a serving of salad dressing.
• Palm (3 oz): Use your palm to judge a recommended serving size of lean protein. Evidence shows that chicken contains less saturated fat than beef, lamb or pork and experts agree that it makes a perfect protein staple.
• Open hand: Use your open hand to judge the amount of space on your plate for fruits and vegetables.
• Fingers: Hold three fingers together and imagine a bundle of French fries, that would be the best case portion scenario (and 150 calories) if you do choose to indulge.
• Measure Your Grip: Take hold of a petite white wine glass (non-goblet), and pour wine leaving an inch, or roughly two finger widths, empty at the top of the glass. This should be about 5 oz of wine, the recommended portion for red wine (a superfood!), or about 150 calories.

Foster Farms, the West Coast’s leading poultry producer, is helping to demystify nutritious meals as part of its Get Fit with Foster Farms program. During the past few years, the company has worked with registered dieticians, Nancy Bennett, MS, RD, CDE and Manuel Villacorta, MS, RD, to provide inspirational, practical healthy eating advice to communities throughout the West Coast. For healthy recipes and more tips, visit

A guide to better nutrition with Foster Farms’ experts

• Meat: Choose lean proteins over those with high levels of saturated fats. Chicken is a naturally-lean, low-fat choice. Foster Farms fresh chicken is always natural, always fresh without steroids or hormones and without added preservatives or sodium enhancers.

• Carbohydrates: Choose whole grains over refined starches. Whole grains are high in fiber and vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Examples of whole grains include: whole wheat tortillas, corn tortillas, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, oatmeal, beans, and quinoa.

• Vegetables: Choose a variety of brightly-colored vegetables for maximum antioxidant benefits.

• Fats: There are good fats and bad fats. Choose heart-healthy fats from foods like salmon, walnuts and flax seeds, avocado, canola, olive oil and almonds. Keep unhealthy fats to a minimum, on a once-in-awhile basis.

• Wine, Chocolate and other treats: Allow yourself to indulge a little each day. Give yourself 150 calories per day to keep you satisfied and not suffering.


• Spice it up: Serve up vegetable-based salsas for a low-fat, flavorful accompaniment to vegetables or grilled meats.

• Give it a rub: Create your own custom “rubs” for grilled or roasted dishes. Sprinkle rubs on both sides of meat prior to cooking. Get creative with Asian, Indian, Mexican, Cajun and Caribbean-inspired flavors.

• Add pizzazz: Use fresh herbs and spices to add flavors to your meals without adding calories, fat, or sugar.

• Get Stylin’: Choose brightly colored vegetables, funky plate designs, and garnishes to add flair to every dish.

• Destination Dinner: Get out of your dinner rut. Travel across the world or back in time through cookbooks or the internet matching entrees and veggies with today’s healthy cooking techniques for a destination or nostalgic dinner.

Foster Farms is the leading poultry producer in the Western United States. Based in Livingston, Calif., the company has remained a family-owned business since its founding in 1939. Foster Farms branded fresh chicken is always locally grown on farms it owns or operates in each of its markets (California, Oregon and Washington). Foster Farms specializes in producing high quality fresh chicken products that are all natural with no preservatives or sodium-based additives, in addition to a full line of other delicious poultry products. The company produces and delivers premium quality poultry products to retailers, warehouse clubs and foodservice customers throughout the West.