Tuesday, November 25, 2008

How Much is a Serving?

Deciding what to cook when a meal is just for you can be tough. After all, you don’t want to be stuck with massive leftovers that just get wasted. Knowing how much food you need to make can also help streamline your grocery shopping. So, here’s a list of some common foods and what nutritionists consider to be a single portion (this information is also great for watching your waistline). Of course, if you have a big appetite you may eat two at a time, but this should help you realize that a whole box of pasta is way too much for one person.

  • Meat / Poultry / Fish – 3 ounces

o This is about the size of a deck of playing cards. For the most part, a whole breast of chicken has two servings of meat in it.

  • Cheese – 1 ½ ounces or 3 tablespoons

o If you are shredding it straight from the block, this means using a chunk roughly the size of your thumb. Also, most people don’t need nearly a full serving of cheese to top their pasta or compliment a salad (two teaspoons should be plenty).

  • Pasta / Rice– ½ cup cooked

o This is a lot less than most people normally scoop from the pot. Most boxes of pasta contain enough for eight servings. So, make only one or two to save yourself from over-eating. Also, you can bulk up your spaghetti dinner with cooked veggies and meat!

  • Fruits / Vegetables – 1 medium piece or ½ cup chopped

o Remember, you need five servings of fresh produce per day. So, don’t sell yourself short at the grocery store. Buy enough fruits and veggies to keep your fridge stocked (after reading this list, though, you can probably cut back on the meat and grains).

Want more info? Check out the chart here.

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