What a 'serve' of vegetables looks like
Healthy eating - what a serve of vegetables looks like
You don't need to read too much in this blog to realise I am passionate about helping people who regularly cook for themselves to make sure they get to eat the recommended 5 serves of vegetables a day.
I'm a vegetable nut! You will see from the meals I cook and the recipes I feature I quite often try to pack 5 serves of vegetables into one meal!
Despite being passionate about vegetables (of all the things to choose!) - I've found it difficult to find a definitive source of what 5 serves of vegetables looks like. I've also seen various different descriptions, e.g.:
- by vegetable size, e.g. half a small red pepper / capsicum, or
- by using cup measures, e.g. half a cup of cooked vegetables equals one serve
But those descriptions only lead to more questions, e.g.:
- 'what does half a cup look like raw'?
- is half a cup of peas the same as half a cup of brussel sprouts'? I wonder about how accurate the measures really are. For instance peas fit nicely into a cup, but the brussel sprouts don't - so am I being short changed on the amount of brussel sprouts I should be eating??
- 'is what is defined as a 'small red pepper' in Sydney the same as in Perth or for that matter New York or Arizona'?
The guidelines across different sources are sort of the same, but definitely inconsistent. The most common guidelines seems to be that a serve of vegetables is 75 grams of a raw vegetable. I think it does get more complicated than this, e.g. The American Heart association says have defined a serve by calorie size, which is 25 calories per serve and the quantity may differ by vegetable.
However for purposes here of providing a rough guideline of what a serve of a vegetable looks like I am settling on what appears to be a common guideline - 80 grams of uncooked vegetables. I think it is better to base on what uncooked looks like - as that is what you start off with wen you are cooking and what you need are looking at to decide how much to cook to ensure it is a 'serve' of vegetables - so you can confidently - 'tick' that box'!
To help me (and hopefully you) - I am building up a library of what the recommended amount of raw vegetables looks like.
What you see below is vegetables weighed to be the 75grams, which seems to be the recommended weight of a 'serve' of vegetables.
In the meantime, if you want to learn more or see how other sites have tried to demonstrate what a serving of common vegetables looks like, skip to the list below.