A serving is the recommended amount of a food to eat. A portion is how much food you actually eat. These two may not always match—and most Americans eat a far larger portion than the suggested serving. Learn how to recognize a serving size—and then eat only that amount. It’s a helpful way to control your food intake.
Partition Your Plate
MyPlate is a visual guide that helps Americans develop proper dietary guidelines. It is based on current recommendations from the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, and it replaces the outdated food pyramid diagram. Follow the visualization above for how much of your plate to allot to each food group.
Tip: To keep from cramming too much food on the plate, don’t allow any foods to touch.
Red meat, poultry, or seafood: 3 oz. or the size of a deck of cards
Cooked vegetables: 1 cup or the size of a baseball. Potato: ½ cup or the size of a computer mouse
Rice: ½ cup or the size of a lightbulb. Cooked pasta: 5 oz. or the size of a hockey puck
Whole fruit: 1 cup or the size of a baseball. Chocolate: 1 oz. or the size of a dental floss package
Butter: 1 tsp. or the size of a postage stamp. Cheese: 1 oz. or the size of a stack of 4 dice
Drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water and 3 servings of dairy a day