Skip to content
Font Size

Serving Sizes and Diabetes

Watching your serving sizes can help you keep the complications of diabetes in check. A dietitian or certified diabetes educator can tell you how many servings from each food group you should eat per day.

How much is a serving size? You'll find a list below, based on food groups. If you eat a larger portion, count it as more than one serving.

Recommended Related to Diabetes

Does Prediabetes Lead to Diabetes?

In every issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask our experts to answer readers' questions about a wide range of topics. In our January-February 2011 issue, we asked WebMD's diabetes expert, Michael Dansinger, MD, to answer a question about the link between prediabetes and diabetes. Q: At my last checkup, my doctor told me I have prediabetes. Does that mean I'll ultimately develop diabetes? A: Almost everyone who develops type 2 diabetes develops prediabetes first. But not everyone who has prediabetes...

Read the Does Prediabetes Lead to Diabetes? article > >

For example, a 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.

Fruits Serving Sizes

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

Vegetables Serving Sizes

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 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 cooked dry beans
1/4 cup tofu (bean curd)
1 egg (or equivalent 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 Serving Sizes

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?