Serving Sizes of Fruits, Vegetables, and Nuts in the Mediterranean Diet
Part of the Mediterranean Diet For Dummies Cheat Sheet
The Mediterranean diet is a plant-based diet. The largest portion of meals in the Mediterranean is devoted to vegetables, fruits, nuts, and grains. In fact, if you adopt a Mediterranean style of eating, your daily servings of fruits and vegetables will increase to between seven and ten servings a day. And while many diets eschew nuts, the healthy fats in nuts make them a popular component of Mediterranean cuisine.
As you modify your eating habits to incorporate more of these plant-based foods, you’ll want to know what a serving size is so that you can make sure you get what you need, without — as is the case with nuts, which are also calorie dense — getting too much.
Gauging serving sizes for fruits and vegetables
At every single meal and snack, choose at least a serving or two (or three!) of a fruit or vegetable. Do so not only for the nutrients and the taste, but also to help round out every meal and keep you satisfied with fiber.
What is a serving? This table shows you:
|Fresh fruit||½ cup|
|Dried fruit||¼ cup|
|Raw vegetables||1 cup|
|Cooked vegetables||½ cup|
If you don’t want to measure the amounts or remember these quantities, simply aim for 2 to 3 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of veggies every day.
Counting calories and fat grams in nuts
Nuts and seeds are nutrient-dense: They give you a lot of nutrition in a small package. Although that is positive in many regards, it can also backfire if you don’t keep your portions in check. When eating nuts and seeds, stick to one ounce per day, every day. The following table shows what an ounce of some favorite varieties gives you quantity-wise.
|Sesame seeds||2 tablespoons||160||14|
|Pine nuts||167 kernels||190||19|
Source: Based on the USDA Nutrient Database
Instead of eating directly out of a large container or mindlessly pouring nuts or seeds into a recipe, always portion out a serving.