http://www.lifeclinic.com/focus/nutriti ... sp#serving
Here is what the USDA recommends as servings every day:
Breads and grains 6-11
Fats oils sweets - sparingly
So What's Your Caloric Limit?
You need to have enough calories every day in order for your body to
have the nutrients it needs. How many calories that actually amounts to
depends on a variety of factors including your:
Whether or not you are a pregnant or breastfeeding woman
Whether you have a chronic illness
The National Academy of Sciences recommends the following calorie
1,600 calories - Many sedentary women and some older adults
2,200 calories - Children, teenage girls, active women and many sedentary men.
Women who are pregnant may need around 500 calories more per day and an additional 300 calories for breast-feeding.
2,800 calories - Teenage boys, active men and very active women
It's possible that you may be between calorie categories on the
chart. If you are then you will need to estimate servings. For example,
some less active women may need only 2,000 calories to maintain a
healthy weight. If you are at this calorie level, 8 servings from the
grain group would be about right.
How Many Servings Are Right For You?
Now that you know how many calories are suggested, you can address the
question of how many servings of each food group you need. Here's a
chart that can help:
6 Grain group
3 Veggies group
2 Fruit group
2-3 Milk group
5 Meat group
Moderate About 2,200
9 Grain group
4 Veggies group
3 Fruit group
2-3 Milk group
6 Meat group
Higher About 2,800
11 Grain group
5 Veggies group
4 Fruit group
2-3 Milk group
7 Meat group
So What's a Portion Anyway?
This is where the food label can come in handy. For portion size on
items like canned soup, yogurt, snack foods, sauces, etc., you can
discover what is considered one serving by checking the top of the food
Here are some samples of what makes up one serving size:
About That Nice Big Bowl of Pasta...What's a Serving of Bread,
Cereal, Rice or Pasta?
One slice of bread
1 ounce of ready-to-eat cereal
1/2 cup of cooked cereal, rice or pasta
Does One Carrot Cut It? What's a Vegetable Serving?
1 cup of raw, leafy vegetables
1/2 cup of other vegetables cooked, or chopped raw
3/4 cup of vegetable juice
It's the Berries...What's a Fruit Serving?
1 medium apple, orange or banana
1/2 cup of chopped, cooked or canned fruit
3/4 cup of fruit juice
Remember Your Dairy. What's a Serving of Milk, Yogurt and Cheese?
1 cup of milk or yogurt
1 1/2 ounce of natural cheese
1 ounce of process cheese (remember that processed cheese usually
contains a lot of sodium)
Do You Need to Measure Servings?
No. Just use servings as a general guide. Sometimes you'll have to
estimate the food group servings. For example a generous serving of
pizza counts in the grain group (crust), milk group (cheese), and
vegetable group (tomato, mushrooms, peppers and onions). Beef stew would count for both meat and vegetable groups.
Remember that both pizza and beef stew can have lots of fat. It's in
the pizza cheese, sausage and pepperoni and in the meat drippings that
may be used to make gravy.
What Should You Do to Gain or Lose Weight?
You've probably heard it before, but it's true. The best way to
lose weight is to increase the amount of physical activity you get and
reduce the fat and sugar in your food choices. Remember to eat at least
the minimum number of servings from the five food groups shown in the
Food Pyramid. If you choose fat and sugar rich foods and eliminate
healthy foods, you won't be getting the nutrition you need. Try to
choose from the lowest fat choices in the food groups