Serving Size vs. Portion Size- Do you know the difference?

| Nutrition

Healthy eating includes making healthful food choices, which means knowing what and how much you eat. Do you know the difference between serving and portion sizes? While the terms serving and portion often are used interchangeably, they actually mean different things.

A “serving” is the amount of food recommended in consumer education materials such as MyPlate. A “portion” is the amount of a food you choose to eat at any one time — which may be more or less than a serving.



To overcome portion distortion and to downsize your helpings, try these tips.

  • Eat from a plate, not a package, so you know how much you eat.
  • Use smaller dishes, such as a lunch plate for your dinner, so less looks like more.
  • Fill half of your dinner plate with vegetables or salad.
  • Eat slowly.
  • Limit meal time distractions by turning off the TV while you eat.

Once you get a good sense of serving sizes, you can compare them to the portions you eat and make any necessary modifications.

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