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Real Life Diet Questions Answered

Angela Dowden

Posted 17 Jun 09

How big are the take away portions?

I was looking for calories etc to enter in my food diary for a Chinese meal when I looked under plain boiled rice it gave them per serving. Is this per standard takeaway tray or is there a certain amount I should weigh?? Same with the main meals. I like to have a Chinese on a Sat night if I have had a good week and I want to make sure I am counting them properly! Thanks in advance!

Our expert says...

Takeaway food is a tricky one as I'm sure you can appreciate! There is a large variation in serving sizes as well as the ingredients that go into them. Without analysing each individual takeaway's dishes, it will always be a best estimate based on average values, so the takeaway section is probably best used as a guide to see the relative difference between meal options.
The serving size is approx. 350 - 400g (or the portion size of a supermarket ready meal). Typical takeaway containers tend to hold around 700 - 800g food and we work on the basis that a 'portion' is half of one of these.
Outlets use various types of containers but the popular large rectangular foil ones (7"x4") hold around 700 - 800g of food. Some use plastic containers with lids (6.5"x4.5") - these do in fact hold the same weight of food as the large rectangular foil dishes although they look slightly smaller. With regards to rice, a medium foil carton (5" x 4") holds around 300 - 350g rice - the calorie content obviously depends on how it is cooked (boiled or fried).
In summary, our portions assume that a takeaway container serves two people. You may also want to read this post that I made on the subject earlier in the year (3rd March 2009)...
http://forum.nutracheck.co.uk/posts.jsp?cat=2&aid=4&fid=10&tid=42176&tpage=2 I hope this helps. Vicky

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