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fruits/vegetables

8/17 8:56:21

Question
Hi. Are people supposed to get 5 total servings of fruits and vegetables each day? Or, is it 5 fruits and 5 vegetables each day? Thanks

Answer
Hi Danielle,
Depending on the source, the absolute minimum should be a total of 5 and many health agencies are pushing for 9-12 servings (total).  The food guide pyramid recommends 2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of veggies for adults. "More Matters", a website promoting the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, agrees. From Healthy People 2010, a summary of government sponsored health goals, "The CDC hopes that at least 75% of people aged 2 years or older will consume at least two daily servings of fruit and at least three daily servings of vegetables, and at least one-third of these servings will be dark green or orange vegetables".

That said, someone recommending 9-12 servings could be talking about 1/2-cup servings, which would be the same as 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables!

The benefits? Fruits and vegetables are usually a low-calorie concentrated source of vitamins (especially A and C), minerals (especially potassium) and fiber.  Filling up on these nutritious foods means less chance other low-nutrient dense--and often high-calorie--foods will be consumed in significant amounts.
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