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Guide To Common Portion And Serving Size From The Protein Group

Maggie LaBarbera • RN, MBA • Jun 13, 2012

Servings from the protein group are counted by 1 ounce servings or 1 ounce equivalents.

For example, 1 ounce equivalent of peanut butter is 1 tablespoon.  


In general, here are the servings of protein foods that count as 1 ounce equivalents:

  • 1 ounce of meat
  • 1 ounce of poultry  healthy protein serving size
  • 1 ounce of  seafood
  • ¼ cup cooked beans
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • ½ ounce of seeds
  • ½ ounce of nuts

What Counts As A Serving In The Protein Group

Here are protein foods that equal 1 serving or 1 ounce equivalents from the protein group.

1 Ounce Serving From The Protein Group
1 ounce of cooked Beef Meat
1 ounce of cooked Pork Meat
1 ounce of cooked Lamb Meat
1 ounce of cooked Poultry Meats
1 ounce of cooked Seafood
1 Egg
½ ounce of Nuts
½ Almonds
24 Pistachios
7 Walnut halves
½ cup cooked Bulgur
½ ounce of seeds
1 Tablespoon of Peanut Butter
1 Tablespoon of any type of Nut Butter
¼ cup of cooked Beans
¼ cup of cooked Legumes
¼ cup of Tofu
1 ounce cooked Tempeh
¼ cup of roasted Soybeans
2 Tablespoons Hummus
1 Falafel Patty


Common Portions From The Protein Group

Here are some examples to help you understand the difference between portions that you may be eating versus how many servings that actual is from the protein group.  You can see that usually our portions tend to be larger than one serving from the protein group.

Here are some other common portions and their respective My Plate Food Guide serving sizes:

Common Portion Sizes
My Plate
Serving Size
1 ounce equivalents
My Plate

Total Serving

1 small steak (4 ounces) 1 ounce of beef  4 serving
1- ¼  lb hamburger (4 ounces) 1 ounce of hamburger meat  4 servings
12 ounce steak 1 ounce of beef 12 servings
1 chicken breast 1 ounce of chicken meat  6 servings
1 cornish hen 1 ounce of hen meat  8 servings
1 can of tuna 1 ounce of tuna  4 servings
1 salmon steak 1 ounce of fish  6 servings
3 egg whites 1 egg 2 servings
1 cup beans ¼ cup of beans 4 servings
1 soy burger 1 ounce of soy burger 2 servings










See All Our Nutrition Articles

Written by Maggie LaBarberaWritten on Jun 13, 2012Last updated on Oct 15, 2013




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