I'm really trying to up my fruit and veggie servings, but it occured to me, what IS a serving size? I once heard a banana counted as 2 servings of fruit, but that seems odd to me. With veggies I count 1 cup as a serving size, help me figure out whats right!
I've always heard it differentiated between cooked vs. raw. There seems to be consensus that 1 cup of leafy greens and half a cup of cooked/canned veggies are both one serving. But some places have raw veggies as one cup per serving and others have it as half cup per serving. I suppose it makes sense to measure a serving differently with veggies that get smaller or softer when cooked, like broccoli or green beans. But things like carrots don't really measure differently when cooked vs. when raw. So I tend to count that as half a cup no matter what.
Mypyramid.gov stopped using "servings" because that was so confusing. So now they recommend how many cups of fruits and vegetables you need. According to mypyramid.gov, women 31-50 should try for one and half cups of fruit and two and a half cups of vegetables daily. That's basically 2-3 servings of fruit and 4-5 servings of vegetables.
So, in general (after all my caveats and discussion)
1 serving = 1 cup of leafy veggies (size of a fist) = half cup to 1 cup of raw veggies or fruit = half a cup of cooked or canned veggies = one medium raw fruit (size of a baseball) = a quarter cup dried fruit = three quarters cup of juice.
I'm on Jenny Craig, which uses the exchange system for counting food and building menus. The exchange system was developed by the American Diabetes Association, and is what Weight Watchers was originally built upon.
In the JC exchange system there are 6 categories of food: starch, meat/protein, fat, milk, fruit, vegetable. Any one serving in a category is approximately equivalent nutritionally and calorically with any other serving in that category. For the vegetable exchange, "one serving" contains no more than 5g carbohydrate, 2g protein, 0g fat, and about 25 calories. (This encompasses all NON-STARCHY vegetables; things like potatoes, peas, corn, winter squash are counted as starch exchanges.) This works out to 1 cup of raw vegetables OR 1/2 cup of cooked. Vegetables break down and lose water when they cook, so that's why the volume differs -- you may start out with a cup of mushrooms, but cooking them is going to reduce that to 1/2 cup more or less. The calories are the same, they just don't take up as much room.
For the fruit exchange, one serving has no more than 15g carbohydrate and 60 calories. Because the sugar, water, and fiber content of different fruit varies, the serving sizes aren't as uniform. If you're dealing with cut-up fruit (or fruit that is "loose" like berries), JC uses 1 cup for raw/fresh and 1/2 cup for cooked or canned. When dealing with smaller fruits where you'd eat an entire one at a sitting -- apples, oranges, bananas, etc. -- 1 SMALL fruit that weighs 3 to 4 oz would constitute a serving.
I'm w/Synger. 1/2 cup cooked, 1 cup raw for veggies.
For fruit it's a little different, I think juices are either 1/3 or 1/2 cup, and a large banana is indeed, 2 servings. Things like berries are like 3/4 cup or something. THose links Synger provided will help you.
Remember, cheating w/fruit or veg is better than cheating w/Doritos.
"It's never too late to be what you might have been." -George Eliot
I never worry about the amounts of vegetables I eat, I eat as much as I want, but I do limit my servings of fruits to 2-3/day, 3 max....serving of fruit is 1 small fruit, half a banana, or 1/2c. pieces, except for dried raisins it goes by tablespoons....
I think the 1 cup/1 piece rule is what I have always understood to be one serving. Truthfully though, I don't worry about eating too much fruit or vegetables. I don't like fruit enough to overeat it very often & as long as I'm eating vegetables without oil/dressing, I don't worry about it. Fruit & veggies are NOT what made me fat lol.
I definitely agree it's not really too possible to overeat in the fruit/veggie area, I was mostly just curious to see how many I have in a day. Most days I have 10+ servings in a day, I'm trying to encourage my bf to get enough fruit/veggies... he'd prefer to stick to an all McD's diet (he's sick all the time and just *can't* figure out why... amazing how someone so smart can be so stupid!).
Plonk him down to watch that film, Super-Size Me (or whatever it's called). I noticed it's doing the rounds again on Canadian telly, Aimee.
On a related note:
I can't get to grips with serving sizes being given in cups. I like ounces or grammes that my kitchen scale can measure. I'm fine with things like peas and such, but anything that doesn't fit neatly into a measuring cup gets me all of a dither! Apart from the starchy veggies mentioned by funniegrrl, I'm with Ilene. I allow myself whatever I want. I'm obsessive-compulsive and admit I reduced my daily kcal allowance to take account of my treating veggies as "free" food, but I don't worry about whether that figure is accurate or not.
-- Ali the <*)))>((
Regained 83 lbs