Healthy Living NT

What is a serve?

08/07/2015

Nerida Deans, Dietitian, Darwin

That depends on what kind of food you are talking about. The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating defines food serves by kilojoule value.


That depends on what kind of food you are talking about. The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating defines food serves by kilojoule value.

What is a serve?For good health it is recommended we aim to eat 5 serves of non-starchy vegetables per day, two handfuls at your evening meal will help get you there. Add two handfuls of salad at lunch and you’d be even closer. 

We should also be aiming to eat 2 serves of fruit per day and 1-2 serves of protein food, which is surprisingly little – the palm of your hand being the equivalent of one serve of meat/chicken. 

  • The definition of one ‘serve’ of vegetables is ½ cup of cooked vegetables or 1 cup of salad vegetables or half a medium potato/ sweet potato (100-350kJ).
  • The definition of one ‘serve’ of fruit is 1 cup tinned fruit (juice drained) or one medium piece of fruit (i.e: one apple) or 2 small pieces of fruit (i.e: 2 apricots or 2 plums)(350kJ).
  • A ‘serve’ of meat is 100g raw or 65g cooked. A ‘serve’ of fish is 100g raw or 80g cooked. A ‘serve’ of chicken is about 80g cooked (500-600kJ).
  • A ‘serve’ of legumes (i.e: baked beans or chickpeas or kidney beans etc.) is about 1cup cooked (500-600kJ).
  • A ‘serve’ of dairy food is 250ml milk or 200ml yoghurt or 40g cheese (500-600kJ).
  • A ‘serve’ of breads and cereals would be one slice of bread or half a bread roll or one crumpet or 1/2 cup porridge or 2/3 cup cereal or ½ cup cooked pasta or rice or noodles (500kJ).

Food for thoughtFor people taking insulin or managing their blood glucose levels, food serves can often be defined by how many grams of carbohydrates that food contains. For example, one medium sized potato that is the equivalent of the size of your fist or one handful of mashed potato is equal to one serve of carbohydrate (15g of carbohydrate). 

In the ‘ideal plate’ model, that would make up the carbohydrate portion of your plate as it is a starchy vegetable, as are sweet potato and corn kernels. More information can be found on the www.eatforhealth.gov.au website, or talk to your dietitian.

This article was published on the Territory Way Edition 118 - December 2014. To read more interesting article like this please click here


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