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Serving Sizes & Diabetes

Understanding a Healthy Serving & Portion Size

When it comes to servings and portion sizes, it’s not unusual for us to believe we’re eating a healthy and well-balanced meal even when we’re not. Typically most of us tend to underestimate the amount of food we eat and underestimate the size of our portions so that we’re actually consuming multiple times the recommended amount.

How Big Is One Portion?

Here are some tips to help you with portion sizes1:

  • 1/2 cup serving cooked vegetables, cooked lentils or potatoes = 1/2 tennis ball (This amount supplies about 600kJ)
  • 80-100 grams of meat, fish, or chicken = the palm of your hand (This amount supplies about 600-850kJ)
  • 40 grams serving of cheese = the size of two thumbs (This amount supplies about 375-730kJ)
  • 1 cup serving of milk, yoghurt = the size of your fist (This amount supplies about 375-730kJ)
  • 1 tablespoon of oil = the size of your thumb (This amount supplies about 600kJ)
1. Smith, A., Kellett, E., Schmerlaib, Y., The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating, Australian Government Department of Health And Ageing, 1998