1. How much fruit and veg?
Everyone knows you’re supposed to have five portions a day, but how much is a portion? Think of a portion of fruit or vegetables as being the size of your fist. This could be one apple or orange, two satsumas, three tablespoons of peas or a cereal bowl filled with salad – whatever works for you.
Another handy tip for veg portions: for main meals, fill at least one third of your plate with vegetables. And remember, potatoes don’t count.
2. How much bread, rice or pasta?
Bread, rice, pasta and other starchy carbohydrates like cereal and potatoes help release energy slowly and keep you feeling full between meals, essential for avoiding unhealthy snacks.
Depending on your age, gender and activity levels you’ll need between five and 11 servings of these filling carbs. A single serving is around the size of a grapefruit.
3. How much milk or dairy?
Make sure you get the recommended daily dose of two to three portions, or three to four portions for children and pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Milk is an obvious source: one portion is 200ml (you can include milk in hot drinks or sauces). A small pot of yoghurt, 30g of hard cheese or 100g of cottage cheese also count as one portion.
4. How much meat?
The World Cancer Research Fund recommend eating no more than 500g cooked red meat per week, equivalent to around 700g of raw meat. If you eat red meat every day, a cooked piece the size of a pack of playing cards should be your daily limit.
5. How much alternative protein (fish, eggs, beans, nuts)?
Meat isn’t the only source of protein – sustainably caught fish, eggs, beans, pulses, nuts and seeds are healthier and better for the environment.
Aim to get two to three servings, which could be 150g of white fish (like cod or haddock), 100g of oily fish (like mackerel or sardines), two medium eggs, three heaped tablespoons of beans and pulses or 25g of nuts and seeds.
Download this useful portion guides chart and stick it on your fridge for an easy way to get portion size right every time.
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