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To maintain a healthy body weight, we need to consume only as much energy as our bodies need to function efficiently. Energy that is not used each day is stored as fat in the body, and over time, causes weight gain. On the other hand, if you restrict your intake to very small servings, you may not be getting all the nutrients your body needs. So as well as WHAT we eat, we need to consider HOW MUCH.

In New Zealand there are currently no serving size guidelines for manufactured food. Also, serving sizes have increased over the years, with the introduction of ‘super’ size and ‘king’ size meals. Many meals are eaten outside the home, and restaurant meals are now viewed as standard serving sizes.

The eMark system uses standardised serving sizes in each food group, based on kilojoules per serve. For example, all fruits are 250 kilojoules per serve, and all breads are 400 kilojoules per serve. So you can forget about counting kilojoules - the eMark value will tell you everything you need to know.

eMark numbers provide a guide to the energy density of the food and therefore, an appropriate serving size. As the number increases from 1e to 5e, the serving size becomes smaller: 1e foods such as fruit will have larger serving sizes than 5e foods such as healthy fats and oils.

  • 1e indicates large servings
  • 2e serves a little less
  • 3e medium servings
  • 4e small servings
  • 5e smallest servings

Remember the healthy eating key: choose mostly eMarks 1 and 2, some 3's - blue and green

Find out how many servings from each food group are in your recommended eMark meal plan