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The Portion Distortion Guide

A List of Serving Sizes
  -- By Nicole Nichols, Fitness Instructor & Health Educator
Selecting the right foods also means choosing portions that are proper serving sizes. The terms "portion" and "serving" are often used interchangeably, but they don't mean the same thing.

A "portion" is the amount of food you choose to eat for meals or snacks (like a plateful of pasta or a handful of raisins). In comparison a "serving" is the amount of food that experts recommend you eat (like 1 cup of milk or 1 ounce of bread). Servings are listed on a food's nutrition facts label too.

When choosing your portion, try to make it as close as possible to these recommended serving sizes.

Grains: Aim for 6-11 servings each day. Choose whole grains whenever possible. Fruits and Vegetables: Aim for 5-9 total servings each day. Choose fresh fruits and veggies whenever possible. <pagebreak>
Meat and Beans: Aim for 2-3 servings each day. Choose lean meats and plant proteins whenever possible. Dairy: Aim for 2-3 servings of calcium-rich foods each day. Choose low- or non-fat products whenever possible. Fats & Oils: Eat fats and oils sparingly and in small portions. Choose heart-healthy fats whenever possible.