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5 Things to Know About Serving Size

4. As Nature Intended
Eating 5 or more servings of vegetables a day can seem like a lot until you realize that a serving size for vegetables is half a cup and 5 cups worth equals only 21/2 cups. That’s the size of a fresh green salad with a side of broccoli and carrots. Not very much when you consider the amount of sliced pizza you had for last night’s dinner. Nuts are another hot topic, because some unsympathetic food scientist made 6 almonds or 6 walnuts a serving size. However, a quarter cup of almonds (about 12) weighs in at 206 calories and almost 20 grams of fat. Now, if you had to crack and shell those almonds you would be done after the requisite six. Something to remember when serving seeds and nuts is always count or measure out what you need and put the rest away or you will soon be wearing them on your hips and thighs.

5. Serving Size Suggestions
Keep a half-cup measure on your counter for the next week and use to serve your meals. This helps you see just what a half-cup serving of food looks like for future reference.
Follow the serving size recommendations and enjoy a wide variety of whole foods and notice how you feel after a few weeks.
Use the following chart to get you started:

  • cup cooked whole grains or pasta
  • 1-cup cereal
  • 1 slice of bread
  • bagel
  • 1 piece of fresh fruit
  • cup dried fruit
  • cup fruit juice
  • cup fresh vegetables
  • cup beans or legumes
  • 3-4 ounces animal protein (poultry, fish, meat)
  • 1 egg
  • 1-tablespoon nut butter
  • 6 almonds or 12 walnut halves
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin, sunflower or sesame seeds
  • cup tofu or tempeh
  • 1-teaspoon miso
  • 1-cup non-dairy or dairy milk
  • cup ice cream or frozen dessert

Read more: Blogs, Diet & Nutrition, Eating for Health, Food, General Health, Health, Rejuvenate your Body with Delia Quigley, Women's Health, , ,

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Delia Quigley

Delia Quigley is the Director of StillPoint Schoolhouse, where she teaches a holistic lifestyle based on her 30 years of study, experience and practice. She is the creator of the Body Rejuvenation Cleanse, Cooking the Basics, and Broken Bodies Yoga. Delia's credentials include author, artist, natural foods chef, yoga instructor, energy therapist and public speaker. Follow Delia's blogs: and. To view her website go to


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12:08AM PDT on Oct 9, 2012

Try smaller plates unless you're eating vegetables. If it's vegetables then heap them high. That's the great part of being a vegetarian.

1:16AM PDT on May 28, 2011

Very informative article. Thanks for sharing.

3:15PM PDT on May 26, 2011

It used to be called grazing. Several small meals work for me.

1:25AM PDT on Apr 24, 2011

It's actually healthier to eat multiple mini meals a day rather than a couple big ones.

5:30PM PDT on Apr 20, 2011

I find it easier to eat a lot of small meals all day.

10:20AM PDT on Apr 20, 2011

good post :)

8:01AM PDT on Apr 19, 2011

When I see the huge portion size in some resturants I cringe!!Less food and lower prices please.Healthy for us and our pocket books!

2:30PM PDT on Apr 18, 2011


12:44AM PDT on Apr 18, 2011

Even if eating a lot of food, it's the variety that can make it better or worse for you also. Everyone can use more veggies.

10:52AM PDT on Apr 17, 2011

I like the list of the ideal servings of each common item! Thank you!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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