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Portion Control

Technically, a “serving” of a particular food is different from a “portion.” Servings are the amount recommended by the USDA and other nutritional experts. A portion is how much you actually eat at any given meal. So, for example, the recommended serving size of Minute® White Rice is one cup, but how much you actually choose to put on your plate – the portion – could be more or less than 1 cup. The key word is “choose” – your portion choices are totally up to you.

Most folks aren’t sure what a recommended serving size should be for each food group, so we’ve provided this chart as a guide. When choosing your portions, try to stick as closely to these guidelines as possible.

Grains:

Aim for 6-11 servings each day. Choose whole grains whenever possible
Examples
One serving equals
That's about the size of
Cracker
3-4 small
Index card
Oatmeal
1/2 cup
Light bulb
Rice
1/2 cup
Light bulb
Dry cereal (puffed rice, shredded wheat, etc
1/2 cup
Light bulb


Fruits & Vegetables:

Fruits and Vegetables are very important and the key to good health! You should be getting 2 servings of fruit AND 2 – 3 servings of vegetables every day. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables whenever possible
Examples
One serving equals
That's about the size of
Apple
1 small
Baseball
Orange
1 small
Baseball
Spinach, other leafy green
1 cup
Baseball
Cooked vegetables (broccoli, carrots, etc.)
1/2 cup
Billiard ball


Meats & Proteins:

Protein is essential for staying healthy. If you’re a vegetarian, be sure to find alternative sources of protein to augment your diet, such as beans and tofu. You should be eating 2 – 3 servings of protein per day.
Examples
One serving equals
That's about the size of
Lean meat
2-3 oz
Deck of cards
Tofu
2-3 oz
Deck of cards
Beans (kidney, black, etc.)
1/2 cup
Hockey puck
Nuts, nut butters
2 tbs
Ping pong ball


Calcium-rich foods/Dairy:

Your body needs 2-3 servings of calcium-rich foods per day. Go for low fat choices whenever possible
Examples
One serving equals
That's about the size of
Milk (or Soymilk)
1 cup milk
Baseball
Cheese
1 ounce (1 slice)
3 dice


Fats & Oils:

Fat is important, but you don’t need much. Only sparing amounts each day! Focus on plant-based fats and oils, such as canola and olive oils
Examples
One serving equals
That's about the size of
Olive oil
1 tsp
1 dice
Butter
1 tsp
1 dice


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