A "portion" can be
thought of as the amount of a specific food you choose to eat for
dinner, snack, or other eating occasion. Portions, of course can be bigger or
smaller than the recommended food servings.
A "serving" is a unit
of measure used to describe the amount of food recommended from each
food group. It is the amount of food listed on the Nutrition Facts panel on
packaged food or the amount of food recommended in the Food Guide Pyramid and
the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
For example, 6-11 servings of whole grains are recommended daily. A
recommended serving of whole grains would be 1 slice of bread or 1/2 cup of
rice or pasta. (Download the Serving Size Card for more examples of recommended
serving sizes). People often confuse the recommendation to mean 6 to 11
portions with no regard to size. It is not 6 to 11 portions where one
portion could mean a large bowl of pasta rather than ½ cup. Keep an eye
on portion size to see how your portions compare with the recommended servings.
Check out the NHLBI
menu planner and sample menus for weight loss to see examples of appropriate
portions and serving size.
sample menus help you create reduced calorie meal plans. These items use the
servings recommended by the
Dietetic Association's (ADA) Food Exchange List. The servings recommended
by the ADA exchange list may differ from the Nutrition Facts panel and the
Dietary Guidelines For Americans. See the
list to give yourself more choices.
menu planner helps
you to create your own meals or add up your daily calorie intake.
Serving Size Card (PDF file) to help you recall
what a standard food serving looks like. Cut out the card and laminate it for
long time use.