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What’s in a portion? General foods

Yes, next time you go to a restaurant you should pull out your little scale and weigh the olives. If you are like most of us, chances are you are not going to do that. Instead, use some of these tips to eyeball your portions and make sure that while you are getting the nutrients you need, you are not going overboard with your meals while eating out. Here are some portions sizes as established by

General Foods

  • 1 oz. meat: size of a matchbox
  • 3 oz. meat: size of a deck of cards or bar of soap—the recommended portion for a meal
  • 8 oz. meat: size of a thin paperback book
  • 3 oz. fish: size of a checkbook
  • 1 oz. cheese: size of 4 dice
  • Medium potato: size of a computer mouse
  • 2 Tbs. peanut butter: size of a ping pong ball
  • 1/2 cup pasta: size of a tennis ball
  • Average bagel: size of a hockey puck.


  • medium apple or orange: the size of a tennis ball
  • 1 cup chopped raw vegetables or fruit: baseball size
  • 1/4 cup dried fruit (raisins, apricots, mango): a small handful
  • lunch-box size container of unsweetened applesauce
  • cup of lettuce: four leaves
  • chicken stir-fry with 1 cup of mixed broccoli, carrots, and mushrooms (= 2 vegetable servings)
  • 1/2 cup cooked or canned legumes (beans and peas)
  • 5-6 baby carrots

Nowadays more restaurants are catching on to more demanding and informed clients and are starting to display the caloric and nutritional values in their menus, making it easier for us to select smarter and portion-controlled meals when we eat out. Some of the limited restaurants in Miami that display calories and portion control are:

I went through several menus and not many display their actual caloric and nutritional content. From those that did, hey...what means healthy to you does not necessarily mean healthy to me. More on this coming soon. You can always weigh and measure your food at home. Don’t worry, I won’t tell…

For more information and healthy tips, check out these links:

Controlling Portion Sizes from

Does Your Entree Have a Hidden Agenda?

Is Your Relationship Making You Fat?

Questions? Comments? Email me.


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