Food portions

Here you'll find an interactive portion guide and handy tips to help keep your diet balanced. 


Eating a healthy balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight isn’t just about what you eat – it’s also about how much you eat.

You should eat a variety of food from different food groups to make sure you get all the nutrients you need. And eat a number of portions from each food group every day.

Do you know what a single portion of cheese looks like, or a single portion of chicken?

Knowing what a single portion of food actually looks like can be tricky. That’s why we’ve created an interactive portion size guide that shows you photos of what single portions of different types of food actually look like, to make serving the right portions easier.

Click on the image below to start exploring portion sizes for different food groups:

Every day you should eat a number of portions from each food group – check out the table below for your recommended daily portions, and click the links to see what single portions look like. These recommended daily portions are based on a calorie intake for people who want to lose weight (1,500 kcal for women and 1,800 kcal for men a day). 

Recommended daily portions

(based on 1500 kcal for women, 1800 kcal for men)

Food group: Fruit and vegetables 

  • Women: 5+ portions
  • Men: 5+ portions

Food group: Potatoes, bread, rice, pasta, and other starchy carbohydrates

  • Women: 7 portions
  • Men: 8 portions

Food group: Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins

  • Women: 2 portions
  • Men: 3 portions

Food group: Dairy and alternatives

  • Women: 3 portions
  • Men: 3 portions

Food group: Oil and spreads

  • Women: 1 portion
  • Men: 2 portions

How to get portion sizes right

Using your hands is an easy way to measure food portions.

Portion sizes - Hands infographic - carbohydrates, meat and beans, fish and chicken

Portion sizes - Hands infographic - butter, cheese, fruit and vegetables

Why portion size matters

It’s important to eat the right amount of food. If your portion sizes are too big, your weight and your blood glucose control will be harder to manage. It will also stop or slow down weight-loss, which is often part of managing diabetes.