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Shel_B

What is a "portion" or "serving"?

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Various nutritional guidelines suggest eating X-number of portions or servings of fruits, vegetables, grains, etc. What, or how much, is a portion or serving size? Are the portions diferent for different foods? Thanks!


 ... Shel


 

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My physician described it this way. "If it's tasty the portion size is really small, if it tastes like crap eat as much as you like."

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I don't know if these are "official" (whatever that means) portion sizes, but I use :

- 2 oz dry pasta per person

- ~3-4 oz meat or fish

- 1 oz for nuts, dried fruit, or cheese. Or ~1/4 cup if that's handier.

- 1 oz for chips or pretzels

- 1 oz dips, spreads, peanut butter (snacky type stuff)

- 1/2 cup cooked rice

I don't really measure vegetables, fats, spices, salt, or anything else with much precision.


"Nothing you could cook will ever be as good as the $2.99 all-you-can-eat pizza buffet." - my EX (wonder why he's an ex?)

My eGfoodblog: My corner of the Midwest

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In cooking competitions that I have participated in, one category might involve presenting a plate consisting of: 4-6oz protein, 3-4oz starch, and 3-4 oz vegetables. The exact amounts vary by rules of individual competition. Some competitions require calorie counts as well. HERE is one example of a competition manual.

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Various nutritional guidelines suggest eating X-number of portions or servings of fruits, vegetables, grains, etc. What, or how much, is a portion or serving size? Are the portions diferent for different foods? Thanks!

The British advice spells it out fairly clearly. (But it does seem like a lot of celery ...)

http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/5ADAY/Pages/Portionsizes.aspx


"If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch ... you must first invent the universe." - Carl Sagan

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That's an interesting site; I hadn't looked at that since it was launched, assuming it was just another bumbling bureaucratic effort to straighten out somewhat confusing guidelines, but it appears they may have come up with some real improvement.

When I first started counting calories to lose weight 4 and a half years ago, the government guidelines made use of the terms serving and portion but they were not interchangeable terms. I think many people didn't understand that, leading to confusing discussions. A 'Serving' was a 'standardized reference size,' such as 1/2 cup of vegetables or 1 oz of cheese or 3 oz. of meat. The term portion was 'how much you eat.' If you ate a cup of green beans for dinner that was a portion to you but 2 servings according to the guidelines. If you only ate a half-cup of mashed potatoes that was a portion to you but only one serving of vegetables toward the recommended daily amount (what was it - 6 or 7 servings of vegetables per day?).

To make matters even more confusing, manufacturers were not required to use the government's standards on nutrition labels, so one cereal manufacturer might claim a serving of cereal was 3/4 C while another brand of the same cereal might list it as a full cup or even a cup and a quarter.

I always thought the government got the two terms reversed but a cursory look at the new site it seems they've dropped those two terms and are just using standardized references such as 1 cup, one ounce, etc., and then giving guidelines for how many ounces/cups of the various foods, etc. per demographic group. I think that's an improvement.

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