Perfect Portions – talkhealth Blogtalkhealth Blog – News Block

If you’re trying to get healthy, lose weight, or want to maintain your weight, portion sizes are something you’ve no doubt considered. But what is a healthy serving size? And how many servings from each food group should I eat in a day? The key to eating a healthy diet is to eat a variety of foods in the right amounts. Making healthier choices also means eating certain foods more often and in larger amounts than others. This article is intended to provide you with some tips and information to help you choose healthy serving sizes.

Some considerations

While this article provides information on standard serving sizes, we should keep in mind that since everyone is different, we should expect some individual variation within this. For example, if you are very active, you will need more calories, so your serving sizes may need to be larger or you may need more servings. The same is true in reverse: if you’re really idle, you may need less. There are many factors that affect this, including your activity levels, your gender at birth, your age, and your metabolic rate. So please use this information, but adapt it to work for you.

Serving Sizes

We hope the following will be a helpful guide for you.

carbohydrate foods

Food Healthy serving size What does this look like visually?
Bread 34-36g 1 medium slice, 1 roll
Pasta 75g raw weight (or 150g cooked) 2-3 tablespoons
Rice 50g raw weight (or 150g cooked) 2-3 tablespoons
Potatoes (these are counted as a carbohydrate, not a vegetable) 120g (boiled with skin)

180g (jacket with fur)

2-3 potatoes the size of an egg

1 medium jacket

Cereal 40g 3 tablespoons

protein foods

Food Healthy serving size What does this look like visually?
cooked meat (including chicken, turkey, beef, pork, and lamb) 90g a pack of cards
Cooked fish 140g the palm of your hand
Eggs 120g 2 medium eggs
Beans and legumes (including baked beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, and lentils) 150g 4 tablespoons
soy and tofu 100 grams 4 tablespoons
Nuts and seeds 25-30g A small handful or 1 tablespoon

dairy and alternatives

Food Healthy serving size What does this look like visually?
Milk (or a calcium-fortified plant-based alternative like soy, oat, or almond milk) 200ml (1/3 pint) A glass
Yoghurt 125-150g standard pot or 3 tablespoons
Hard cheese 30g A piece the size of a small matchbox.

Fruits and vegetables

Food Healthy serving size What does this look like visually?
Apple, pears, orange, banana 80g a medium fruit
Smaller fruits, eg plums, fresh apricots, satsumas 80g two fruits
berries (including grapes, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries) 80g A bunch
Dry fruits (including raisins, dried apricots, dried mango, prunes) 30g a tablespoon
Vegetables (including sweet corn, carrots, green beans 80g 3-4 tablespoons
Cherry tomatoes 80g 7 cherry tomatoes
Salad 80g A full bowl of cereal

Fats and oils

Try to limit the use of oils and spreads and measure them, as it’s easy to add too much, especially when cooking or drizzling oil on a salad. It is best to use ‘unsaturated’ oils such as olive oil and sunflower oil, rather than others. One serving of oil and spread is about 5g/5ml (equivalent to one teaspoon).

Number of servings each day

Using the information on serving sizes above, this information gives you an estimate of the number of servings from each food group you will need to consume in a typical day to maintain your ideal weight. Remember that you can always divide your portion sizes in half to make smaller snacks between meals. This information does not include beverages, oils and spreads, and does not include “foods high in fat and sugar” eg chips, cookies, chocolate, sausage rolls.

food group Number of servings throughout the day useful notes
carbohydrate foods 3-4 servings

Always try to choose versions of carbohydrates that are whole grain or high in fiber, for example, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, basmati or brown rice, potatoes with their skin on, higher fiber cereals such as oatmeal, weatabix, and shredded wheat.

protein foods 2 -3 servings Try to eat less red meat and processed meat (eg ham, sausage, hamburger). Choose lean meat whenever possible (eg, ground meat with a lower fat percentage). We should try to include more beans and legumes (eg lentils, chickpeas, kidney beans) and two servings of sustainably sourced fish each week, one of which is oily fish (eg salmon, mackerel, fresh tuna).
dairy and alternatives 3 servings Whenever possible, try to choose versions that are low in fat and sugar. Some yogurts, for example, can be very high in sugar and you’ll need to check labels to compare to make sure you’re getting a healthier variety.
Fruits and vegetables 5 servings – As minimum. Eat more if you can! Variety is key – Trying to include a range of different colors is a good way to get a range of different micronutrients.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top