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Portion Sizes

With the “supersizing of America, it has become difficult to know what a portion size is. Studies have shown that when larger portions are provided, our nature is to…. Eat it! The following is a guide to help you have a better understanding of what a portion size of the various food groups actually is.

The serving sizes represented here are part of the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid. Use these serving sizes in conjunction with a diet based on a variety of healthy, whole, unprocessed foods. Add regular physical activity to your day, and you're on your way to enjoying good health.

Grains

Everyday equivalents can help you judge serving sizes to better practice portion control. A serving of cooked macaroni is 1/2 cup or about the size of an ice-cream scoop. Recommended serving sizes for other grains include:

Food Serving Size
Cooked Pasta or Oatmeal 1/2 Cup
Whole-Wheat Bread 1 Slice
Whole-Wheat Crackers 6 Crackers

Fruits

One cup of mixed berries, cherries or cubed cantaloupe equals one serving. One cup is about the size of a tennis ball.

Other serving sizes of fruit include:

Food Serving Size
Apple, Pear or Banana 1 Small
100 Percent Fruit Juice 1/2 Cup/td>

Vegetables

Until you're comfortable judging serving sizes, you may need to use measuring cups and spoons. A half a cup of cooked carrots, for example, equals one serving. Here are the recommended serving sizes for other vegetables:

Food Serving Size
Raw Leafy Vegetables 2 Cups
Raw Vegetables, Chopped 1 Cup
Chopped, Cooked or Canned Vegetables 1/2 Cup

Dairy Products

Serving sizes of dairy products may be smaller than you think. For example, one serving of low-fat cheddar cheese is 2 ounces or about the size of two dominoes.

Here are serving sizes for other dairy products:

Food Serving Size
Low-Fat or Fat-Free Milk or Yogurt 1 Cup
Part-Skim Mozzarella Cheese 1 1/2 Ounces or About 1/3 Cup Shredded

Meat and Beans

Familiar objects can help you picture proper portions for meat, poultry, fish and beans. For example, a 3-ounce serving of fish is about the size of a deck of cards.

Here are the serving sizes for meat and meat substitutes:

Food Serving Size
Cooked Skinless Poultry or Fish 3 ounces
Cooked Lean Meat 1 1/2 Ounce
Cooked Legumes or Dried Beans 1/2 cup ~ The Size of an Ice Cream Scoop
Egg 1 Medium