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--Nutrition: Serving Sizes and Portions

SERVING SAYS: What is a portion size?



Portion sizes are increasing, allowing increased energy intake and weight gain. How to read nutrition labels and measure portion sizes is one of the most important goals in any weight loss or maintenance program.

       Woman's fist or baseball - a serving of vegetables or fruit is about the size of your fist

       A rounded handful - about one half cup cooked or raw veggies or cut fruit, a piece of fruit, or ½ cup of cooked rice or pasta - this is a good measure for a snack serving, such as chips or pretzels

       Deck of cards - a serving of meat, fish or poultry or the palm of your hand (don't count your fingers!) - for example, one chicken breast, ¼ pound hamburger patty or a medium pork chop

       Golf ball or large egg - one quarter cup of dried fruit or nuts

       Tennis ball - about one half cup of ice cream

       Computer mouse - about the size of a small baked potato

       Compact disc - about the size of one serving of pancake or small waffle

       Thumb tip - about one teaspoon of peanut butter

       Six dice - a serving of cheese

       Check book - a serving of fish (approximately 3 oz.)

       Eyeball it! - Take a look at the recommended serving sizes on the new USDA MyPyramid Food Guidance System. Get out a measuring cup or a food scale and practice measuring some of your favorite foods onto a plate, so that you can see how much (or how little!) a ½ cup or 3-ounce serving is. This will help you "eyeball" a reasonable serving!

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