Help with Portion Sizes

Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS,
November 28, 2011

Q. I eat rice every day, but what exactly does 1 cup of rice look like?  Some say 1 cup is the size of a tennis ball, others say it's more like a fist. Who is right?

A.  Guidelines that relate various portion sizes to everyday objects like tennis balls or decks of cards are designed to be easy-to-visualize reminders. But if you find these unclear or confusing, you can always get out the measuring cup. Simply fill your one cup measuring cup with rice to see what a one cup serving looks like.  Of course, there's no need to use a kitchen scale or measuring cups to weigh or measure every bite of food.  But it is a good idea to know about what various portion sizes look like to ensure that you're not unwittingly serving yourself two or three times a "normal" portion.

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