For Health and Convenience

What is a Portion?

What is a Portion?

What is a portion?

When the five-a-day programme was first launched in 2003, those behind its creation wanted a simple and easy way for people to understand the concept of how much fresh food we should be eating every day.
They looked to the World Health Organisation’s recommended minimum daily amount of fruit and veg. At that time this was 400g.
They then divided that into 5, giving us the now UK and USA accepted figure of 80 grams per portion.
This is of course not a worldwide accepted measurement.
Here are the recommendations of a selection of different countries compared to the UKs figure:

  • UK = 5 portions of 80 gms
  • Denmark = 6 portions of 80 gms
  • France = 10 portions of 80 gms
  • Canada = 5 to 10 portions of 80 gms
  • Japan = 17 portions of 50 gms (13 vegetable and 4 fruit )

But is 400 grams a day enough?


Recent Research

The most recent research suggests France may have been closest to the ideal quantity, as we are currently being advised that we should be eating at least 10 servings (800 grams) of fruit and vegetables a day.
The World Health Organization now recommends eating “at least” 800 gms of fruit and vegetables daily to avoid an increased risk of heart disease, cancer and diabetes, although a recent study suggests that a minimum of 5 portions a day should be sufficient to ward off chronic illness.
My personal take on this is to aim for at least 5 and if possible add more. Children and the elderly usually need less than the recommended 10.

Dehydrated Food Portions

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the recommended serving size for dried fruit is half that of fresh. This can be very misleading as many fruits and vegetables are reduced by anything between 60 and 90 percent when dried, so 100 grams of fresh lettuce for example becomes 10 grams when dried.

Although it is reduced in size and weight dried food still has virtually the same nutritional value and fibre content – just no water and a slight reduction in Vitamin C. For more on this topic read my post on the nutritional content of dehydrated food.

On each of my fruit and vegetables posts there is an estimated dried portion size that is calculated directly from the weight of 80 grams of fresh food, making it a much more accurate way of working out dried portions.

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