While reading up on the latest nutritional/health advice out there this winter (2013) — I came across a few conflicting accounts of what constitutes a “serving” of some of the more common fruits and veggies — especially the high sugar veggies like carrots and corn; and the high fat wonders like avocados, nuts, and olives. I compared lists and recommendations and what is included here is as close to a “standard” as I can find.
If I’ve left off anything important — let me know!
The important thing to remember here is that these are portions for unsweetened, unsalted, unfried, un-buttered, unadorned fruits and veggies. As soon as you add anything to them (with the possible exceptions of vinegar or Tabasco sauce) — these measurements are meaningless. Even something like Worcestershire Sauce and Soy Sauce can change things — because almost all sauces have either added sodium or sugars — or both. And all sauces add weight and alter volume….
Fruit Juice : 1 serving = 1/2 cup
Dried fruit (unsweetened) : 1 serving = 1/4 cup, 2 oz
Berries, Cherries, Grapes (mixed or not) : 1 serving = 1 cup; about 6 oz
Orange, Papaya, Guava, Mango, or Grapefruit : 1 serving = 1/2 a fruit
Banana : 1 serving = 1 whole (very large fruits may = 2 servings)
Pomegranate : 1 serving = 1 whole
Melons : 1 serving = 1 cup cubes (about 6 oz)
Pineapple : 1 serving = 1/2 cup pieces (about 3 oz)
Kiwi : 1 serving = 1 kiwi (I know — hard to believe, isn’t it?)
Apple, Pear, Peach, Nectarine : 1 serving = 1 whole fruit, or 1/2 puree (applesauce)
Apricots, plums, pluots, apriums : 1 serving = 2 sm fruits, or 1 med-lg fruit about 1/3 c cut fruit, or 2 1/2-3 oz
Avocado : 1 serving = 1/4 small fruit (about 1 1/2-2 oz)
Olives : 1 serving = 1/4 c (about 2 oz) whole or pitted olives
Tomato : 1 serving = 1 med, 8 cherry, 6 oz juice, 1/2 sauce
Lettuce, spinach, kale, other leafy greens : 1 serving = 1 1/2 cup fresh; 1/2 c cooked
Mushrooms, onions, shallots, scallions, leeks, garlic, asparagus, peppers, turnips, parsnips, radishes, rutabegas, rhubarb, celery, green beans, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, bok choy, wax beans : 1 serving = 3/4 cup
Carrots, corn, beets, snow peas, legumes : 1 serving = 1/2 cup
Cucumber, eggplant, summer squash, zucchini, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, sauerkraut : 1 serving = 3/4 cup
Potatoes, yams, sweet potato, pumpkin, winter squash : 1 serving = 4 oz, 1/2 c mashed