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                   What's a Serving Size?

Bread and Cereal Group (Starches)  --    1 serving is equal to:

The following table lists foods whose calories come primarily from carbohydrates.  Be sure to refer to the "Bread Group containing Fat" table below for those foods that are higher in fat.

1 slice Bread

1 Small Roll

1/2 Bagel OR English Muffin

2 slices Reduced-Calorie Bread

1/2   Hamburger OR Hot Dog Bun

1/2 Pita, 6-in. across

3/4 cup Unsweetened Cereal, Ready-to-Eat

1/2 cup Cooked Cereal OR Grits 

1/2 cup Shredded Wheat OR Bran Cereals

1-1/2 cup Puffed Cereal

1/4 cup Muesli, Grape-Nuts, OR Low-Fat Granola

1/2 cup Sugar-Frosted Cereal

1 Reduced-Fat Waffle (4-1/2-in. square) OR Pancake (4-in. across)

1 Tortilla, Corn 6-in. across OR Flour 7 to 8-in. across

1/2 cup Pasta

1/3 cup Rice OR Couscous

1/2 cup Bulgur OR Kasha

1/4 cup Millet

3 TBSP Wheat Germ

2 Bread Sticks, 4-in. long by 1/2-in.

4 slices Melba Toast

6 Saltine-Type Crackers

2 to 5 Whole-Wheat Crackers, No Fat Added

24 Oyster Crackers

3/4 oz Matzoh

8 Animal Crackers

3 Graham Crackers, 2-1/2"sq.

3 cups Popcorn, Low-Fat

3/4 oz Pretzels

2 Rice cakes

15 to 20 (3/4-oz.) Snack Chips, Fat-Free

Some starches contain more fat than the foods listed above.   The serving sizes listed in the following table may be the same as the lower fat version, but keep in mind:  Where there is more fat, there are more calories.

Bread and Cereal Group (Starches) containing Fat  --   1 Serving is Equal to:

1 Waffle (4-1/2-in. sq.) OR Pancake (4-in. across)

1 Biscuit (2-1/2- in. across) OR   Small Muffin

1 piece Corn Bread, 2-in. cube

6 Butter-Type Crackers

4 to 6 Whole-Wheat Crackers, (More than 3g fat per this serving)

3 Sandwich Crackers (Cheese or Peanut Butter filling)

16 to 25 French Fries

3 cups Popcorn

1/4 cup Granola

1 cup Croutons 1/3 cup Stuffing, bread 1/2 cup Chow Mein Noodles

The following vegetables will be included in the "Bread and Cereal Group" because they contain a significant amount of starch.

Starchy Vegetables       --      1 Serving is Equal to:

1/2 cup Corn, Peas, Mashed Potato, OR Plantain

1/3 cup Baked Beans

1/2 cup Black-Eyed Peas OR Lentils

2/3 cup Lima Beans

1 medium Corn on Cob

1/2 cup Beans (Garbanzo, Pinto, Kidney, OR White)

1/2 cup or 1 small Yam OR  Sweet Potato

1 small Potato

1 cup Squash, winter

Vegetable Group  --  1 Serving is Equal to:

1/2 cup of Cooked Vegetables OR Vegetable Juice OR Canned Vegetables 1 cup of Raw Vegetables

The above serving sizes apply to all vegetables EXCLUDING the Starchy Vegetables which includes Corn, Peas, Winter Squash (acorn and butternut), Potatoes, and Beans. 

(See "Starchy Vegetable" table above for appropriate serving sizes.)

Vegetable Classification Table

While all vegetables are good for you, some vegetables are more nutritious than others.  For example,  a salad made with Romaine Lettuce is much more nutritious than a salad made with Iceberg Lettuce.  The following table identifies different vegetable groups.

Dark Green Vegetables --   Collard Greens, Kale, Mustard Greens, Turnip Greens, Spinach, Endive, Escarole, Green Leaf Lettuce, Red Leaf Lettuce, Romaine Lettuce, Asparagus, and others
Dark Yellow/Orange/Red Vegetables --  Carrots, Tomato, Pumpkin, Peppers, and others
Cruciferous Vegetables --  Cabbage, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Rutabagas, Turnips
Other --  Onions, Mushrooms, Artichokes, Green Beans, Iceberg Lettuce, Cucumber, Celery, Water Chestnuts, Watercress, etc.

Fruit Group  --  1 Serving is Equal to:

1 Small to Medium Fresh Fruit

1/2 cup Canned OR Fresh Fruit

1/2 cup Fruit Juice

1/4 cup Dried Fruit

1/2 Fresh Grapefruit

1/2 Any Other Fresh Fruit that is Large

17 Small Grapes

Fruit Classification Table

While all fruits are good for you, some fruits are more nutritious than others.  For example, a Peach is richer in vitamins than and apple.  Fresh fruit is by far a more nutritious choice than drinking the fruit's juice.   The following table identifies different fruit groups.

Citrus Fruits --   Grapefruit, Orange, Nectarine, Tangerines, Pineapple
Yellow/Orange Fruits --   Apricot, Papaya, Peach, Mango,
Berries --   Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries, Blueberries, Cranberries, Cherries
Melons --   Cantaloupe, Watermelon, Honeydew
Other --  Pear, Apple, Applesauce, Grapes, Raisins, Plums, Prunes, Kiwi, Banana, Figs, Dates, etc.

Dairy Group  --  1 Serving is Equal to:

It is important to note that the fat content varies among the different food items in this group.  For example, by choosing Skim Milk you get 0 grams of fat vs. Whole Milk you get 8 grams of fat - 8 grams difference.   Cheese is not included here because it primarily consists of protein.  Refer to the "Meat and Protein Group" below.

1 cup (8 oz.) of Milk - Fat-Free (Skim), Very Low-Fat (1/2%), Low-Fat (1%), Reduced Fat (2%), Whole

6 to 8 oz. of Yogurt, Fat-Free or Low-Fat

1/3 cup Dry Milk, Non-Fat

1 cup Buttermilk

Meat Group  --

The following table identifies four categories within the Meat Group - Very-Lean, Lean, Medium-Fat, and High-Fat.  The different types of meats are listed for quick reference.  Refer to "Other Proteins" table below for Cheeses, Eggs, Soy products, and Processed Meats.

1 Serving is Equal to:   2-3 ounces of One of the Following:

 

VERY LEAN

LEAN  

MEDIUM-FAT  

HIGH FAT

BEEF ---- USDA Select or Choice Grades of Lean Beef Trimmed of Fat, such as Round, Sirloin, and Flank Steak; Tenderloin; Roast (Rib, Chuck, Rump); Steak (T-Bone, Porterhouse, Cubed), Ground Round) Most Beef:  Ground Beef, Meatloaf, Corned Beef, Short Ribs, or Prime Grades of Meat Trimmed of Fat such as Prime Rib ---
PORK ---- Lean Pork, such as Fresh  Ham; Canned, Cured, or Boiled Ham; Canadian Bacon; Tenderloin, Center Loin Chop Top Loin, Chop, Boston Butt, Cutlet Spareribs, Ground Pork, Pork Sausage
LAMB ---- Roast, Chop, Leg Rib Roast, Ground ---
VEAL ---- Lean Chop, Roast Cutlet ---
POULTRY Chicken or Turkey (White Meat, No Skin) OR Cornish Hen (No Skin) Chicken or Turkey (Dark Meat, No Skin), Chicken White Meat (with Skin), Domestic Duck or Goose (Well-Drained of Fat, No Skin) Chicken Dark Meat (with Skin), Ground Turkey, Ground Chicken, Fried Chicken (with Skin) ---
FISH Fresh or Frozen Cod, Flounder, Haddock, Halibut, Trout; Canned Tuna in Water Herring, Salmon, Catfish, Sardines, Tuna in Oil, Oysters Any Fried Fish Product ---
GAME Duck or Pheasant (No Skin), Venison, Buffalo, Ostrich, Emu Goose (No Skin), Rabbit --- ---
ORGANS Kidney Liver, Heart --- ---

Other Proteins

The following table list foods that are mostly protein in nature.  The portion sizes are equivalent to 1-ounce of meat.   Obviously, 1 ounce is not much.  When determining the serving size, triple the amount shown to equal 3-ounces of meat (1 serving of meat).

VERY LEAN

LEAN  

MEDIUM-FAT  

HIGH FAT

2 TBSP (1-oz.) Fat-Free Cheese

2 TBSP Grated Parmesan

1/4 cup Ricotta Cheese

1 slice (1-oz.) American Cheese

2 Egg Whites, No Yolk

2 TBSP (1-oz.) Other Cheeses with 3 grams or less fat per ounce

1 Egg

1-inch cube (1-oz.) of Regular Cheese:  Cheddar, Monterey Jack,   Swiss, Muenster, Provolone, Blue

2 TBSP (1-oz.) Feta or Mozzarella Cheese

1/4 cup Egg Substitutes

4 oz or 1/2 cup Tofu

1/4 cup Non-Fat or Low-Fat Cottage Cheese

1/4 cup Cottage Cheese, 4.5%

1/4 cup Tempeh

2 TBSP (1-oz.) of Shredded Cheese

1 Hot Dog with 1 gram of Fat or Less

1 Hot Dog with 3 grams of Fat or Less

1 cup Soy Milk

1 Hot Dog (Turkey or Chicken)

1oz Processed Sandwich Meat with 1 gram of Fat or Less per ounce    (such as Deli Thin, Shaved Meats, Chipped, Turkey Ham)

1oz Processed Sandwich Meat with 3 grams of Fat or Less per ounce    (such as Turkey, Pastrami, Kielbasa)

---

1oz Processed Sandwich Meat with 8 grams of Fat or Less per ounce    (such as Bologna, Pimento Loaf, Salami)

1 oz Sausage with 1-gram of Fat or Less per ounce

---

1 oz Sausage with 5-gram of Fat or Less per ounce

1 oz Sausage with 8-gram of Fat or Less per ounce (Polish,Bratwurst, Italian, Knockwurst, Smoked)

Combination Foods

The following table lists entrees which contain different food groups mixed together. 

Entree Frozen Soup
1 cup (8-oz.) Chili with Beans 1 Entree with 300 Calories or Less 1/2 cup (4-oz.) Split Pea (made with water)
1 cup (8-oz.) Tuna Noodle Casserole 1 Entree Between 300 and 400 Calories 1 cup (8-oz.) Tomato (made with water)
1 cup (8-oz.) Macaroni and Cheese 1 Entree Between 400 and 500 Calories 1 cup (8-oz.) Vegetable Beef
1 cup (8-oz.) Spaghetti with Meatballs 1 Entree with 500 Calories or More 1 cup (8-oz) Chicken Noodle
1 cup (8-oz.) Lasagna --- 1 cup (8-oz) Other Broth Based
1/4 of 10-in. Cheese Pizza, Thin Crust
1/4 of 10-in. Meat Topping Pizza, Thin Crust --- 1 cup (8-oz.) Cream (made with water)
1 (7-oz.) Pot Pie --- 1 cup (8-oz.) Bean

Fats

The following table lists foods whose calories come mostly from fat.  Some fats are worse than others, Saturated vs. Monounsaturated, but the calories are the same.  Refer to the amounts shown when calculating servings of fats consumed.  Note:  While nuts and seeds are sources protein and vitamins such as vitamin E, they are high in fat and therefore listed in this table.

Saturated Fats Polyunsaturated Fats

Monounsaturated Fats

1 tsp Shortening or Lard 1 tsp Oil - Corn, Soybean, or Safflower

1 tsp Oil - Canola, Olive, or Peanut

1 tsp Stick Butter 1 tsp Margarine (Stick, Tub, or Squeeze)

2 tsp Peanut Butter, Smooth or Crunchy

2 tsp Whipped Butter 1 TBSP Reduced-Fat Margarine 1/8 Medium Avocado
1 TBSP Reduced-Fat Butter 1 tsp Regular Mayonnaise 8 to 10 Large Olives
1 TBSP Regular Cream Cheese 1 TBSP Reduced-Fat Mayonnaise 1 TBSP Sesame Seeds
2 TBSP Reduced-Fat Cream Cheese 2 tsp Regular Miracle Whip Salad Dressing Nuts: 6 Almonds OR Cashews
2 TBSP Regular Sour Cream 1 TBSP Reduced-Fat Miracle Whip Salad Dressing 6 Mixed Nuts (50% peanuts)
3 TBSP Reduced-Fat Sour Cream 1 TBSP Regular Salad Dressing 10 Peanuts
1 slice Bacon, Cooked 2 TBSP Reduced-Fat Salad Dressing 4 Pecan Halves
1 tsp Bacon Grease
2 TBSP Shredded Coconut 1 TBSP Pumpkin or Sunflower Seeds 2 tsp Tahini Paste
2 TBSP Half and Half Cream 4 Walnut Halves

Dessert Items and Other Sweets

Below you will find foods grouped by lists (A through G).  The foods you find in this table are common dessert items and sweets.   The serving size listed for each are considered reasonable portions.  The list classification is used here to group starch and fat content.

In the amount listed,
A-List = 1 Starch                                 E-List = 2 Starch and 1 Fat
B-List = 2 Starch                                 F-List = 2 Starch and 2 Fat
C-List = 1 Starch and 1 Fat               G-List = 3 Starch and 2 Fat
D-List = 1 Starch and 2 Fats

Hopefully, this will help you identify which foods are higher in calories.

A - List

B - List

C - List

2 Small Fat-Free Cookies 1/12th of Angel Food Cake 1 (2-in. sq.) Brownie
1/2 cup Gelatin, Regular 1/2 cup Regular Pudding 1 (2-in. sq.) Cake, Unfrosted
1/2 cup Sugar-Free Pudding 1/2 cup Sherbet or Sorbet 2 Small Cookies
1/3 cup Frozen Yogurt, Fat-Free 1/3 cup Frozen Yogurt, Low-Fat 1/2 cup Light Ice Cream
1/2 cup Frozen Yogurt, Fat-Free, No Sugar Added D - List E - List
1/2 cup Fat-Free Ice Cream, No Sugar Added 1/2 cup Ice Cream 1 (2-in. sq.) Cake, Frosted
1/8 Pumpkin or Custard Pie 1 Small Cupcake
F - List G - List

1 Plain Cake Doughnut (3-3/4 in. across, 1-in. high)

1/6 Fruit Pie with 2 Crusts

1 Glazed Doughnuts (3-3/4 in. across, 1-in. high)

1 Sweet Roll (2-1/2 oz.)

Snack Foods

Below you will find foods grouped by lists (A through D).  The foods you find in this table are common snack items.  The serving size listed for each are considered reasonable portions.  The list classification is used here to group starch and fat content.

In the amount listed,
A-List = 1 Starch                                 C-List = 1 Starch and 1 Fat
B-List = 2 Starch                                 D-List = 1 Starch and 2 Fat

Hopefully, this will help you identify which foods are higher in calories.

A - List B - List C - List D - List
1 Fruit Juice Bar 1 Fat-Free Granola Bar 1 Granola Bar 12-18 (1-oz.) Potato Chips
1 Roll Fruit Snacks, Chewy
15-20 (3/4-oz.) Snack Chips, Fat-Free --- 1/3 cup Hummus 6-12 Regular Tortilla Chips (1-oz.)
3 Gingersnaps 5 Vanilla Wafers

Condiments

Below you will find foods grouped by lists (A through C).  The foods you find in this table are common condiments.  The serving size listed for each are considered reasonable portions.  The list classification is used here to group starch and fat content.

In the amount listed,
A-List = 1 Starch                                 C-List = 1 Starch and 1 Fat
B-List = 2 Starch

Hopefully, this will help you identify which foods are higher in calories.

A - List B - List C - List
1 TBSP Fruit Spread, 100%  Fruit 1/4 cup Jellied Cranberry Sauce 1/2 cup Spaghetti or Pasta Sauce
1 TBSP Regular Jam or Jelly
1/4 cup Fat-Free Salad Dressing
1 TBSP Regular Syrup
2 TBSP Light Syrup

Printed here with permission (7/01) from:   Laura S. Garrett, RD, LD,  Fitness Trainer & Owner of www.NutrActive.com - Serving your Complete Nutrition & Active Lifestyle Needs
Contact via e-mail:  Laura.RD@NutrActive.com
Weight Loss/Fitness Programs & Diabetes Specialist; Also Specializing in Vitamin/Mineral/Herb Supplementation.   Subscribe to our free weekly ezines for tips on how to lose weight, tone muscle, prevent disease, & cook healthy:   subscribe@nutractive.com

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