You’ve heard the term “serving size” before, but how familiar are you with what a typical serving size should be and how much you should consume of any given food?
A serving is a set amount of food that contains a specific quantity of calories and nutrients.
Servings normally are given in common units (cups, ounces, pieces, etc). For packaged food and drinks, the nutritional analysis is based on serving size found on the Nutrition Facts panel. You need to know a particular food’s serving size to tell how many servings you are consuming. People often have more than one serving at a time. To see how much fat, calories, etc. you really are taking in, multiply all the numbers in the nutrition information by the number of servings you have.
Always look at the “servings per container” on the Nutrition Facts panel. Containers that seem to be a single serving such as a bottled beverage could have multiple servings. Be aware that a serving size on a manufacture’s label isn’t a recommendation of how much you should consume. But it does allow you to compare nutritional information of similar products.
A portion is the amount of food you choose to eat or the amount of food a restaurant gives you. It is not usually the same as a serving. Often, portions are larger than one serving. Large portions have been blamed for the increase in obesity in the United States. A key part of reaching or maintaining a healthy weight is portion control.
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