By Rebekah Shulman, Dietitian Assistant
When’s the last time you measured out half a cup of ice cream, ate exactly 15 chips, or leveled out two tablespoons of peanut butter? You may be surprised about what a serving of these common foods actually looks like. While using measuring utensils and counting calories isn’t necessary to maintain a healthy diet, it doesn’t hurt to be aware of the recommended serving sizes for the foods you’re eating on a daily basis, particularly if they’re calorie dense.
Below are some visual representations to think about the next time you reach for a pint of ice cream, a bag of trail mix, or a jar of peanut butter.
Serving size = 2 Tablespoons
Serving size: ½ cup, or a tennis ball
Serving size = ½ cup, or a tennis ball
*This means that there are 4 servings per pint!
Serving size: ¼ cup, or a golf ball, or a small handful
Servings size: 1 oz or 24 nuts
Serving size: 1 oz or 15 chips
Serving size: ¼ cup or an egg
Serving size: 2 cookies
Serving size: 2 Tablespoons
Did any of these surprise you? It’s unnecessary to obsess over exact measurements, but being mindful of your portions can help you reach your health goals. As you can see, many “healthy” foods are higher in calories, fat, and/or sugar than you may think. Furthermore, eating smaller portions leaves room for a larger variety of foods within your daily intake, which can help you reach your macro- and micro- nutrient requirements.