What counts as a portion of fruit and vegetables?

by | Feb 10, 2021

I’m often asked what counts as a portion of fruit or veg – people still seem to be confused. That’s especially the case when it comes to varieties that you may not find on other online sources. The United Nations has declared 2021 as the International Year of Fruits and Vegetables, so I’ve been to the shops, taken out the weighing scales and discovered how much you’d need to eat to reach the recommended 80gram serving that counts as one of your “five-a-day”.

 

Guava on chopping board

 

First, some unusual examples
  • 10 fingers of okra
  • 10 radishes
  • 1 medium onion
  • 8 small pickled cucumbers
  • 1 medium roasted pepper from a jar
  • 3 segments of tinned green jackfruit
  • 3 heaped tbsp tinned ackee, drained
  • 2 halves tinned guavas, drained

 

Fresh Fruit

fresh fruits - what counts as a portion of fruit and vegetables

  • one medium banana, orange, pear or apple or a similar sized fruit
  • half a grapefruit
  • half an avocado
  • a slice of large fruit such as melon or pineapple
  • two satsumas, plums or similar sized fruit
  • a small handful of grapes
  • two handfuls of blueberries or raspberries
  • 7 strawberries
  • 1 slice of papaya
  • 1 slice of melon (5cm slice)
  • 1 large slice of pineapple
  • 2 slices of mango (5cm slices)
  • 3 heaped tablespoons of fruit salad

 

Dried fruit

dried fruits - what counts as a portion of fruit and vegetables

  • one heaped tablespoon of dried fruit, such as sultanas, currants or cranberries
  • 2 prunes
  • 3 dried dates
  • Handful dried banana chips

 

Canned fruits in natural juice

canned fruits - what counts as a portion of fruit and vegetables

  • 2 pear or peach halves
  • 6 apricot halves
  • 8 segments of tinned grapefruit
  • 3 heaped tablespoons of fruit cocktail

 

Juices (count once a day only due to the sugar content)

juices - what counts as a portion of fruit and vegetables

  • 150ml unsweetened fruit juice
  • 150ml smoothie
  • 150ml vegetable juice

 

Vegetables & salads

vegetables - what counts as a portion of fruit and vegetables

  • 3 heaped tablespoons of carrots
  • 8 brussel sprouts
  • 3 heaped tablespoons of sweetcorn
  • 8 cauliflower florets
  • 4 heaped tablespoons of cooked kale
  • 4 heaped tablespoons of cooked spinach
  • 4 heaped tablespoons of cooked spring greens
  • 4 heaped tablespoons of cooked green beans
  • one cereal bowl of lettuce, watercress or spinach
  • one cereal bowl of mixed salad
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 7 cherry tomatoes
  • 1½ celery sticks
  • 5cm piece of cucumber  

 

Pulses (count once a day only as they don’t have the full range of nutrients you get from other veg)

pulses - what counts as a portion of fruit and vegetables

  • 3 heaped tablespoon of beans
  • 3 heaped tablespoon of peas
  • 3 heaped tablespoon of chick peas
  • 3 heaped tablespoon of lentils

Often a portion is simply a handful.

 

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