Fruit & Veg Portions

By Dietitian, Juliette Kellow BSc RD

Q: I know I’m supposed to eat five servings of fruit and veg each day, but what exactly counts as a portion?

A This is a good question and one that confuses a lot of people. All fruit and vegetables, including fresh, frozen, canned, dried and pure juices, count. The only exception is potatoes, which are a starchy food and so aren’t included in the recommended 5 A DAY. Meanwhile, no matter how much you drink, a glass of pure juice only counts as one portion because it’s not a good source of fibre and the juicing process squeezes out all the natural sugars that are normally found between the cells of the fruit or veg, with the result they’re less healthy for teeth. Pulses such as kidney beans, lentils and chick peas also only count as one portion, regardless of how much you eat. This is because they don’t contain the same vitamins and minerals as other fruit and veg.

It’s important to eat five different fruit and veg each day to get a wide range of vitamins and minerals. For example, you could add dried apricots or sultanas to cereal, have an apple with lunch, serve dinner with two veg such as carrots and broccoli, and snack on a nectarine. It’s as easy as that!

On average, a portion of fruit or veg is equivalent to 80g. Below are some examples of what counts as one portion:

  • 1 apple, banana, pear, orange or other similar sized fruit
  • 2 plums, satsumas, kiwi fruit or other similar sized fruit
  • 1⁄2 a grapefruit or avocado
  • 1 large slice of melon or fresh pineapple
  • 3 heaped tablespoons of vegetables, beans or pulses
  • 3 heaped tablespoons of fruit salad or stewed fruit
  • 1 heaped tablespoon of raisins or sultanas
  • 3 dried apricots
  • 1 cupful of grapes, cherries or berries
  • 1 dessert bowl of salad
  • 1 small glass (150ml) of pure fruit juice

You can keep track of your fruit and veg portions with the Weight Loss Resources online food diary. Try it free for 24 hours.

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You can keep track of your fruit and veg portions and balance your diet with the Weight Loss Resources online food diary. Try it Free!

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