As a dietitian I think the most important advice we give is encouraging everyone to eat the number of vegetable and fruit servings that is recommended for them in Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide.
Why are vegetables and fruit so important?
Vegetables and fruit are naturally high in fibre, typically low in fat and provide important vitamins and minerals. Diets high in vegetables and fruit can help protect us from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and certain types of cancers.
Eating Well with Canada’s Food Guide recommends adults eat between 7-10 servings of vegetables and fruit every day. For men and women 19-50 years old the Food Guide recommends 8-10 and 7-8 servings respectively. For adults 51 and over 7 servings of vegetables and fruit are recommended.
|Each is an example of one serving|
One serving is:
½ cup of cooked or raw vegetables
1 cup of raw leafy greens
1 medium sized piece of fruit
½ cup fruit
We know that most adults don’t even eat 5 servings a day. So how can you fit more in? My advice is every time you eat include a vegetable or fruit or both.
Here are some two examples. During the week I eat three meals and two snacks but on the weekend I tend to only eat three meals. This just means on the weekend I have to eat more vegetables and fruit at each meal compared to during the week.
Breakfast: 1/2 a grapefruit with breakfast is one serving.
Dinner: one small baked potato, 1/2 cup grilled peppers, and 1/2 cup sauteed mushrooms are each one serving for a total of three vegetable servings.
For a daily total of 7 servings of vegetables and fruit (6 vegetables and 1 fruit).
Breakfast: A green smoothie (recipe posted February 13, 2013) one vegetable and one fruit serving
Lunch: a small piece of Sheppard's Pie is about one serving with 1/2 a cup of grapes is one serving
Dinner: Chicken Lettuce wraps with shredded cabbage. I had two wraps and estimated that to be about 1 cup of lettuce and 1/2 cup of cabbage - each is one serving each. for a total of two servings of vegetables.
For a daily total of 8 servings of vegetables and fruit (5 vegetables and 3 fruit)
Let us know how you try to eat more vegetables and fruit today.