A key part of healthy eating is choosing the appropriate amounts of different foods. When it comes to deciding how much to eat, the terms serving size and portion size are often used interchangeably. However, they don’t mean the same thing 🤯
Serving Size 🥣
Serving size is a standardised amount of food set by food manufacturers. It is used on the Nutrition Facts label based on the amounts that people typically consume. For example, 40g of breakfast cereal, one slice of bread or one pot of yoghurt. As well as the serving size on a packet of food, this could be what you are served at a restaurant or what you plate up at home.
Portion Size 🥄
Portion size is the amount of food you choose to eat for a meal or snack based on your hunger levels. This may be more or less than the suggested serving size and will vary depending on the individual. See our post on “Getting a Handle on Portion Sizes” for more information on this!
Let’s use an individual smoothie as an example 👀🥤
The serving size suggested by the manufacturer is 150ml but you drink the full 250ml bottle – and that is okay!
To work out the nutritional content of your portion you would need to divide the information on the Nutrition Facts label (the amount in 100g or ml) by 100 and multiply by 250.
If 100ml of smoothie has 51kcal and 10g of sugar, then the full bottle will have 128kcal and 25g of sugar.
Once you understand the difference between serving size and portion size you can then start to make more informed choices about the amounts of food you eat during a meal or snack 🤓
So remember to check that the nutritional information relates to the serving size you are going to eat.
Let us know in the comments if this helped you today.