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ALL POSTSHEALTH & WELLBEINGServing Sizes – The easy way to measure portions

19 September 2021by Grant Mundy0

Hopefully this will help to eliminate confusion on serving sizes, and allow you to easily monitor and control your food intake.

FRUIT SERVING SIZES

One serve is equal to:

1 medium piece (E.g. apple or banana)

OR

2 small pieces (E.g. nectarines, kiwi fruits, apricots)

OR

1 cup of chopped pieces/berries (E.g. chopped rockmelon, strawberries etc)

Eat 2 serves of fruit per day, no more and no less.

Eating less than two serves a day will mean you are missing out on vital nutrients & antioxidants needed for a healthy mind and body.

Eating too much fruit each day can lead to fatty liver disease, insulin resistance, diabetes, weight gain and more.

It’s important to ensure a balance of fruit intake. Two serves a day is the perfect balance!

VEGETABLE SERVING SIZES

One serve is equal to:

1/2 cup cooked vegetables/legumes

OR

1 medium piece (E.g. potato or tomato)

OR

1 cup salad vegetables

The beauty of vegetables is that it is virtually impossible to have too many of them. They should make up the majority of your diet and therefore your plate, at mealtimes.

Try to have a rainbow on your plate; greens especially, as well as yellows, reds, purples, orange, white, etc. The more colours you eat, the more variety of phytonutrients you are supplying your body with.

Eat a variety of raw as well as cooked vegetables. Completely raw is not entirely ideal as some foods need to be gently cooked to be bioavailable or to destroy constituents which may inhibit your absorption.

PROTEIN SERVING SIZES

Protein is important and most people don’t eat enough of it.

As a general rule of thumb, you should be consuming about 1.6g-1.8g per kilo of body weight every day!

An easy way to achieve this is to ensure you have protein with every meal & snack.

Animal protein should be kept to one palm-sized portion once or twice a day. Consume 3-4 eggs daily if you wish.

The latest research shows that egg consumption does not raise cholesterol, and in fact has a positive health on High Density Lipoproteins (HDL Cholesterol, the good kind) and general heart health.

Vegetarian sources of protein include legumes, nuts, seeds, beans etc. Buy organic and free-range meats & animal products as much as possible!

Consume fresh fish – 2 to 3 serves a week. Shellfish & larger fish such as shark, swordfish, etc should be limited to once a fortnight.

GRAIN SERVING SIZES

One serve is equal to:

1/2 cup of cooked grain

OR

30g of uncooked whole grain pasta

OR

1 slice of bread

OR

1 cup of ready to eat whole grain cereal or muesli

Grains are generally eaten in excess, and should be reduced to 1-2 serves a day.

These serves should be as close to whole grain as possible with little to no processing. Gluten-free grains such as quinoa, amaranth, millet, corn, buckwheat, rice (wholemeal or basmati) are fantastic too.

FATS SERVING SIZES

Each day you should include a handful of nuts & seeds and up to 2 tablespoons of healthy oils such as flaxseed oil, olive oil etc.

Despite popular belief, your body actually needs fats in order to be healthy. The type of fats to avoid include trans-fat, anything labelled “vegetable oil” and canola oil, fast food, baked & fried goods, margarine and anything listed as “hydrogenated” oil.

Good sources of healthy fats include nuts, seeds, fatty fish, avocado’s, butter (don’t go overboard), tahini, olive oil, flaxseeds, etc.

WATER

Water is definitely something people need to drink more of!

The general rule for water is:

2 litres of water every day (that’s only 8 small glasses!)

PLUS

An extra litre for every hour of exercise you do

PLUS

An extra 2 glasses, per cup of coffee you drink.

Water is essential for life!

Fingers crossed this will help to demystify some of the popular research around serving sizes, and help you to eat the right variety of healthy food in your diet.

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