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What counts as a serving of food?


measuring bowls
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Do you know how much food equals a serving size?

One of the keys to planning a heart-healthy diet and maintaining a healthy weight is to pay attention to how much you eat. To help, the government has devised a list of standard serving sizes and a set of guidelines for how many servings you should eat from each food group each day.

This table describes the standard serving size for many types of food.


Type of Food Serving Size
Meat, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts 2 to 3 oz. cooked, which is about the size of:
  • half a chicken breast without skin
  • 1 chicken leg and thigh without skin
  • 2 slices of roast beef
  • 1 medium loin pork chop
  • 1 cup of cooked, dry beans
  • 4 Tbsp. of peanut butter
  • 1 small hamburger patty
  • 1/2 cup tuna, canned in water
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 to 12 large shrimp
Nonstarchy vegetables, such as carrots, broccoli, and lettuce
  • 1/2 cup cooked
  • 1 cup raw
Starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, beans, and squash
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1 small baking potato
  • 1/2 cup peas, lentils, or beans
  • 1/3 cup sweet potato or yam
  • 3/4 cup winter squash
Fruit
  • 1 apple, banana, orange, or peach
  • 3 apricots
  • 12 sweet cherries
  • 1½ dried figs
  • 3 prunes
  • 1½ cups cubed watermelon
  • 1/2 cup canned fruit
  • 3/4 cup fruit juice
  • 1/8 avocado
Cheese
  • 1½-oz. low-fat or nonfat cube
  • 1/2 cup low-fat or nonfat ricotta cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. grated low-fat or nonfat cheese
Milk
  • 1 cup low-fat or nonfat milk
  • 1 cup low-fat or nonfat yogurt
Bread
  • 1/2 bagel
  • 2 bread sticks
  • 1 slice bread
  • 1 roll
  • 1/2 English muffin
  • 1 6-inch tortilla
Cereal
  • 1 oz. dry breakfast cereal, or about 1 cup of cereal flakes
  • 1/2 cup cooked cereal, such as oatmeal
Rice
  • 1/2 cup cooked
Pasta
  • 1/2 cup cooked
Oil or spread
  • 1 tsp. safflower, olive, or canola oil
  • 1 tsp. margarine, butter, or shortening
  • 2 tsp. mayonnaise
Salad dressing
  • 1 Tbsp. low-fat or nonfat French, Italian, or Thousand Island dressing


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