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Serving Sizes and Diabetes

Watching your serving sizes can help you keep the complications of diabetes in check. A dietitian can advise you on how many servings from each food group you should eat per day. But how much is a "serving size?"

The amount of food that is counted as one serving is listed below. If you eat a larger portion, count it as more than one serving. For example, a dinner portion of rice using the chart below is 1/3 cup. The amount you eat may be 1 cup. This would count as three servings from the breads and starch group.

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Serving Size Based on Food Groups

Fruits Serving Sizes

1/2 banana
1 small apple, orange, or pear
1/2 cup of chopped, cooked, or canned fruit

Vegetables Serving Sizes

1 cup of raw leafy vegetables
1/2 cup of other vegetables; cooked, raw (chopped), or canned
1/2 cup of vegetable juice

Bread, Cereal, Rice, Starchy Vegetables, and Pasta Serving Sizes

1 slice of bread
1/2 English muffin, bun, small bagel, or pita bread
1 6-inch tortilla
4-6 crackers
2 rice cakes
1 ounce ready-to-eat cereal
1/2 cup cooked cereal, pasta, or bulgur
1/3 cup cooked rice
1 small potato or 1/2 large potato
1/2 cup sweet potatoes or yams
1/2 cup corn kernels or other starchy vegetables such as winter squash, peas, or lima beans

Nuts, Poultry, Fish, Eggs, Dry Beans, Cheese, and Meat Serving Sizes

2-3 ounces cooked lean beef, veal, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, or fish
2-3 ounces low-fat natural cheese (such as Swiss, cheddar, Muenster, parmesan, mozzarella, and others)
1/2 cup of cooked dry beans
1/4 cup tofu (bean curd)
1 egg (or equivalent serving of egg substitute)
2 tablespoons of peanut butter
2 ounces of processed cheese (American)
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup canned tuna (packed in water)

Milk and Yogurt Serving Sizes

1 cup of low-fat milk
1 cup of low-fat yogurt (unsweetened or sweetened with aspartame or other artificial sweeteners)

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on June 25, 2013
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