Portion guide: Beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins

These foods are good sources of protein, vitamins and minerals. Pulses such as beans, peas and lentils are good alternatives to meat because they're lower in fat and higher in fibre.

Some meat is high in saturated fats. To help cut back on saturated fat, try having at least one meat-free day a week, buy reduced fat versions if they’re available or trim off any skin or visible fat from your meat.

Scroll down or click to view:

You can also download a PDF of our beans, pulses, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins portion guide.

How much is one portion of beans or pulses?

  • One 200g tin, or half a 400g tin, of baked beans in tomato sauce (low sugar and low salt if possible).

A portion of baked beans

  • Three heaped tablespoons of beans - e.g. kidney beans or chick peas.

A portion of kidney beans

How much is one portion of fish?

  • Three fish fingers.

A portion of fish fingers

  • One palm-size piece of oily fish.

A portion of oily fish - Salmon

  • One palm-size piece of white fish.

A portion of white fish

  • Half a large tin or one whole small tin (160g) of tuna.

A portion of tuna fish

How much is one portion of eggs?

  • One portion is two eggs.

Two eggs

How much is one portion of meat?

  • Five slices of cut ham

A portion of cut ham

  • One palm-size piece of chicken (without skin and with all visible fat removed).

A portion of cooked chicken

  • Four level teaspoons of full-fat mince, eight level tablespoons of 5% reduced-fat mince, or 10 level tablespoons of Quorn mince - choosing the reduced-fat options means you can increase your portion size.

Portions of (L-R): full fat mince, reduced fat mince, and Quorn mince

L-R: Portions of full fat mince, reduced fat mince, and Quorn mince.

  • One and a quarter full fat pork sausages, two reduced-fat pork sausages, or two and a half Quorn sausages. Choosing the reduced-fat options means you can increase your portion size.

A portion of (L-R): Full fat sausages, reduced fat sausages, and Quorn sausages

L-R: Portions of full-fat pork sausages, reduced-fat sausages, and Quorn sausages.

  • 11 slices of wafer thin ham.

A portion of wafer thin ham

Other sources of protein

One portion is...

  • Two teaspoons of peanut butter.

A portion of peanut butter

  • One palm-size piece of tofu.

A portion of tofu

  • One handful of unsalted nuts.

A portion of unsalted nuts

  • One tablespoon of seeds.

A portion of seeds

How to get enough protein without adding fat and calories

Some protein foods may be high in fat. Choosing lower fat alternatives will help you get enough protein without the extra fat and calories.

  • Choose lean cuts of meat, remove visible fat and skin.
  • Limit how often you choose processed meat such as burgers and sausages.
  • Choose fish, eggs, Quorn, beans a few times a week.
  • Cook without adding fat – bake, steam, grill, poach or microwave.