In today's fast food, super-sized world portion sizes have gotten out of control. It can be confusing to figure out what a "serving" actually is since portions served are often 2-8 times larger than the standard serving sizes defined by the USDA.
A food label "serving" is the specific amount of food that contains the quantity of nutrients described on the Nutrition Facts label.
A portion is the amount of a specific food that an individual eats at one time. Portions can often contain more than one serving but if you are trying to balance your diet or control your weight it is important to keep track of the size of your portions.
A simple visual guide that you can use to help determine what a serving size is estimates:
- Fruit = a serving that is about the size of a baseball
- Vegetables = a serving that is about the size of your fist or "a rounded handful"
- Meat = a serving that is about the size of a deck of cards
- Bread = a serving that is equal to a slice of bread
- Cheese = a serving that is equal to about six dice
- Peanut butter = a serving that is about the size of your thumb tip