Controlling portion sizes and reading food labels can help you make good food choices. Read below for more information:
Proper Portion Sizes
It is important that you notice how much you are eating, regardless of what you are eating. In order to maintain a balanced diet, smaller portions of a greater variety are recommended. According to the USDA, 1 serving equals:
The Grain Group
1 slice of bread
½ cup cooked rice, cereal, or pasta [size of a muffin tin]
1 ounce of ready-to-eat cereal [about 2 handfuls]
1 tortilla, roll, or small muffin
½ English muffin, small bagel, or hamburger bun
The Vegetable Group
½ cup cooked vegetables [size of a baseball]
1 cup tossed salad [size of your closed fist]
1 medium potato
¾ cup vegetable juice
½ cup raw chopped vegetables [size of a baseball]
The Fruit Group
1 medium whole fruit
¾ cup of fruit juice
½ cup canned fruit [size of a baseball]
¼ cup dried fruit
The Milk Group
1 cup milk
8 ounces yogurt [1 carton]
1 ½ - 2 ounces cheese [size of a book of matches]
1 ½ cup ice cream
1 cup frozen yogurt
The Meat and Meat Alternative Group
3 ounces of cooked meat, poultry, or fish [size of a deck of cards]
1/4 pound hamburger patty
2 whole eggs
1 cup cooked beans [size of your fist]
4 tablespoons of peanut butter
Fats, Oils, and Sweets
Use sparingly; use healthy oils such as olive oil and canola oil
Nutrition Fact Labels
While it important to watch the amount you eat, it is even more so to know what you are eating! Nutrition Fact Labels list ingredients, nutrient information, and serving sizes.
Why Read Food Labels?
1. They highlight information on saturated fat, cholesterol, dietary fiber, and other nutrients that are of major health concern.
2. They list % Daily Values. These % values help us see how a food fits into our overall daily diet.
3. Food Labels have consistent serving size amounts to make it easier to compare similar foods and make healthier choices.