Serving Size vs. Portion Size: Is There a Difference?*

Wednesday, 25 May 2016, By Keenan Mowat

Healthy eating includes not only making healthful food choices, but also knowing how much you should eat. Do you know the difference between serving and portion sizes? While the terms "serving" and "portion" often are used interchangeably, they actually mean different things.

A "serving" is the amount of food recommended in consumer education materials such as on the nutrition label of packaged food or on government based education websites. A "portion" is the amount of a food you choose to eat at any one time, which may be more or less than a recommended serving.

Here are some everyday comparisons to help you figure out your serving sizes:

  • A serving of meat should be the same size as the palm of your hand (approx. 100g).
  • A serving of fish should be the same size as your whole hand (approx. 100g).
  • A serving of almonds should be approx. 8 to 12 nuts, Cashews (5), Brazil nuts (2), and Pistachios (10).
  • 100ml of wine is the same size as a small children's size tub of yoghurt.
  • A serving of hard cheese is approx. 28g and is no larger than 4 dice.
  • 100g serve of potato is approx. the size of a standard mobile phone.
  • A 30g serve of oats is same size as a small 95g tin of tuna.

To overcome portion distortion and to downsize your helpings, try these tips:

  • Eat from a plate, not a package, so you know how much you eat.
  • Use smaller dishes, so less looks like more on your plate.
  • Eat slowly and while you are not distracted by a TV or work. Eating slowly will also help to aid in digestion.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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