Useful serving size guide
Serving size guide
Ever wondered how much a serving size is when it comes to different foods?
It's not always easy (nor convenient) to weigh or measure foods before we eat, so we created a useful article and a handy printable PDF guide for you!
The guide will show you the ideal serving sizes for 48 foods and compares them to everyday items so you have an easy visual reference!
Starches, sugars and fiber are the carbohydrates in food. Carbohydrates are a molecule that plants make during photosynthesis, combining carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. They are very important in your body's metabolism because they are generally the part of food that is digested most quickly. Carbohydrates can give you quick energy, and cause a rise in blood sugar levels.
Diabetics, in particular, need to pay attention to the carbohydrates they eat to help manage their blood sugar. Some carbohydrates, those found in whole grains and leafy vegetables, for example have a much slower impact on blood sugar than carbohydrates in fruits or candy. It's easy to consume a lot of carbohydrates, as foods like breads, pasta, cake, cookies and potatoes are loaded with them.
Nutrition experts suggest that you should only get 45 to 65 percent of your daily nutrition from carbohydrates.
VEGETABLES AND LEGUMES
There are many different types of vegetables grown and made available in Australia with a large variety of choice throughout the year. Vegetables come from many different parts of the plant, including the leaves, roots, tubers, flowers, stems, seeds and shoots.
Legumes are the seeds of the plant and are eaten in their immature form as green peas and beans, and the mature form as dried peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas.
Vegetables can be broken up into different groups, with each group providing their own unique nutrients.
The main sub-groups for vegetables are:
Dark green or cruciferous/brassica
Broccoli, brussels sprouts, bok choy, cabbages, cauliflower, kale
Lettuce, silverbeet, spinach, snow peas
Potato, cassava, sweet potato, taro, carrots, beetroot, onions, shallots, garlic, bamboo shoots, swede, turnip
Red kidney beans, soybeans, lima beans, cannellini beans, chickpeas, lentils, split peas, tofu
Tomato, celery, sprouts, zucchini, squash, avocado, capsicum, eggplant, mushrooms, cucumber, okra, pumpkin, green peas, green beans.
Most Australians eat only about half the recommended quantity of fruit. However many of us drink far too much fruit juice. Fruit juices can be high in energy (kilojoules) and low in dietary fibre, and can even damage your teeth. Whole fruits are a much better choice, and are more filling.
What’s in the fruit group?
A wide variety of fruit is grown and available in Australia. There is plenty of choice throughout the year. Choosing fruits in season provides better value and better quality. Eating seasonally also adds more variety to your diet throughout the year. And just like with veggies, choosing different coloured fruits increases the variety of nutrients, which can enhance your health!
Choose fruits from these different fruit categories
pome fruits such as apples and pears
citrus fruit such as oranges, mandarins and grapefruit
stone fruit such as apricots, cherries, peaches, nectarines and plums
tropical fruit such as bananas, paw paw, mangoes, pineapple and melons
other fruits such as grapes and passionfruit.
MILK AND DAIRY PRODUCTS
Low or reduced fat milk, yoghurt and cheese choices are recommended for most people two years and over. Most Australians consume only about half the recommended quantity of milk products or alternatives, but eat too many full fat varieties, which can increase the kilojoules and the saturated fat content of the diet.
Reduced fat varieties of milks are not suitable as a milk drink for children under the age of two due to their high energy needs required for growth.
For nearly everyone else (over the age of two) this is the best choice.
Infants under the age of 12 months should not be given cow’s milk as a main drink.
Breast milk or specially prepared infant formula should be given to infants under 12-months of age as the main milk source.
Protein is one powerhouse nutrient. It helps keep you full, and your body uses it to help grow and maintain muscles, blood vessels, skin, hair and nails. Plus, protein also plays a key role in synthesizing hormones and enzymes in your body.
Protein is found in a variety of foods, including meat, poultry, seafood, dairy, beans, nuts and whole grains. Your protein needs are also dependent on your age, activity level and whether you are pregnant or have any chronic diseases.
If you eat a balanced diet, you are likely getting the daily required amount without much difficulty. A standard 85g chicken breast has about 26 grams of protein in it, which is more than half of what's recommended for women. But despite the fact that most people get enough protein, it remains a popular macronutrient to eat. It helps keep you full (read: less hangry) and powers up your muscles.
NUTS, SEEDS AND FATS
Many people still think that eating fat will make them fat, and that is so far from the truth. Fat helps fill you up so you are less likely to overeat at a meal or too soon thereafter. As with most things though, more fat doesn’t necessarily make it better for you. Too much fat can add up to too many calories, and the wrong kind of fats can be harmful for your health.
SWEETS AND OTHERS
Treats such as chocolate can be energy dense which means you get more calories per gram than some other foods, such as fruit and vegetables. This is why you are encouraged to enjoy treats less often, in small amounts.
Knowing what’s the right portion size can sometimes be the biggest challenge to getting this right. It’s important to always look at the front and back of confectionery packets to understand the recommended serving size and how many calories are in each serving or packet.
Depending on the size of the confectionery pack, nutrition information is often clearly visible in a table on the back of pack. Sometimes nutrition information is written as if it were in a paragraph to save packaging space.