Understanding food portion sizes
A portion is the amount of a particular food you eat at any one time. This may be the serving size of a food on your plate, or the amount of food in a packet. Being aware of different portion sizes in grams and other measurements can help you control how much food you’re eating. Lots of food labels show the nutrient content per serving or portion size.
As everyone is different, the recommended number of portion sizes for the key food groups will vary. You may need different portion sizes, depending on:
- how old you are
- your height and/or weight
- your sex
- your health
- how active you are
If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll need to be particularly careful about portion control. You may need to eat smaller or fewer portions than what is suggested here. Ask your GP or a dietitian if you’re not sure how much you should be eating and drinking.
Recommended portion size for starchy foods
Starchy foods are your most important source of energy. It’s recommended that you include healthy, wholegrain starchy foods at every meal – these should make up just over a third of your diet.
Choose wholegrain, less-processed versions when you can, with less added fat, salt or sugar. This will help to make sure you get enough fibre, and feel fuller for longer.
The following are some suggested amounts that you might aim for at each meal. These are based on an average adult looking to stay the same weight.