Q:I’m trying to navigate this new way of eating and really have no idea for basic serving sizes of different food groups. Is there a simple guideline I could follow?


Yes. There is a simple guideline. You should know that there will be variation within these guidelines based on the specific food you are choosing. For example, 4 oz. of meat is a serving, but this amount of grilled chicken will have somewhere around 150 calories while ground beef will have about 230 calories. Keeping that in mind, these are the basic guidelines:

  • 3-4 oz. lean meat (looks like a deck of cards)
  • ½ cup rice or pasta or one small slice of bread is about the size of a cassette tape
  • 1 whole piece of fruit or 1 cup of cut fruit. Canned fruit servings are considered ½ cup servings as the processing “cooking” of the fruit and added fruit juice raise the glycemic impact on your body. Try to stick to whole fruits as they do not raise the blood sugar quite as much and as canned.
  • 1 cup cooked or raw vegetables.
  • 1-1.5 oz. cheese (a serving looks like 1 stacked dice)
  • 1 cup of low fat yogurt or milk
  • 2 TBS nut butters are considered a serving, but I would encourage you to cut that serving in half as that generally adds about 16 grams of fat to your day.