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Recommended Servings for Adults

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Topic Overview

You can use the USDA food guide camera.gif to make healthy choices about what you eat. The chart below shows the recommended amounts for adults to eat from each food group. These amounts are based on a diet of 1,600 to 2,400 calories a day.

For a food guide that shows how much to eat from each food group based on your specific calorie needs, go to the website

Sample foods
Food groupAmount needed each day


5-8 ounces

1 ounce is equal to:

  • 1 slice of bread.
  • 1 small (6-inch) tortilla.
  • 1 cup dry cereal.
  • ½ cup cooked rice, cooked pasta, or cooked cereal.


2-3 cups

1 cup is equal to:

  • 1 cup raw or cooked vegetables.
  • 2 cups raw, leafy greens.
  • 1 cup (8 fl oz) vegetable juice.


1½-2 cups

1 cup is equal to:

  • 1 cup fresh, frozen, or canned fruit.
  • 1 large apple, orange, or banana.
  • 1 cup (8 fl oz) 100% fruit juice.
  • ½ cup dried fruit.


3 cups

1 cup is equal to:

  • 1 cup (8 fl oz) milk or yogurt.
  • 1½ ounces hard cheese.
  • 2 ounces processed cheese.

Protein foods

5-6½ ounces

1 ounce is equal to:

  • 1 ounce meat, poultry, or fish.
  • 1 egg.
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter.
  • ½ ounce nuts (12 almonds or 7 walnut halves).
  • ¼ cup cooked dried beans, peas, or lentils.
  • ¼ cup tofu.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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