Skip to content
Font Size

Diabetes: The Truth About Food Serving Sizes

Confused about how much you can eat when you have diabetes? First you need to know how much food is in a serving. It may be different from what you expect.

Let’s say you eat a cup of rice at dinner. But a serving is actually considered 1/3 cup. So you got three times as many carbs as you thought.

Recommended Related to Diabetes

The Dieter’s (and Diabetic Person's) Guide to Buying Chocolate

How can you get your daily chocolate fix -- and eat less sugar or calories, too? That's a million-dollar question that several companies are banking on people asking. Over the past few years, the sugar-free and portion-controlled chocolate market has exploded. There are all sorts of sugar-free versions of favorite chocolate bars. And you can now buy individually wrapped chocolate bars or sticks in 60- to 100-calorie portions, along with the ever-popular kisses. To help you decide among all the options...

Read the The Dieter’s (and Diabetic Person's) Guide to Buying Chocolate article > >

To outsmart those mistakes, get to know what a serving size really holds. And for expert help, talk to your dietitian or a certified diabetes educator.

Fruits: 1 Serving

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

Vegetables: 1 Serving

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

Bread, Cereal, Rice, Starchy Vegetables, and Pasta: 1 Serving

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: 1 Serving

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 cooked dry beans
1/4 cup tofu
1 egg (or an equal serving of egg substitute)
2 tablespoons peanut butter
2 ounces processed cheese (American)
1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup canned tuna (packed in water)

Milk and Yogurt: 1 Serving

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

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on June 25, 2013
Next Article:

What's hardest about managing diabetes?