The Baier Necessities

Simply Nutritious. Simply Delicious.

Are you Getting Enough Fruits and Veggies?

A lot of people may think they get enough fruit and veggies over the day, but they may fall short of the recommendations.  To start off, what are the recommendations? In general, the more produce the better, but check these charts for your age and sex to get specific recommendations.

These recommendations are pretty clear by putting them into “cups” rather than a number of servings.  However, there are 2 exceptions.  When it comes to dried fruit 1/2 a cup counts as a full cup.  The volume is smaller just because they are dehydrated, but they retain their nutrition.  The second difference is with leafy green vegetables.  This includes lettuce, spinach, kale and other salad mixes.  Because they are so light, 2 measured cups equals a cup serving.  Use the below images that I got from PopSugar to help you visualize your actual needs.  It may not be as daunting as  you think,

Fruit ServingFruit Servings 3 Fruit Serving 2

I couldn’t find similar images of vegetables but just grab some measuring cups and measure it out.

If these charts and images make you realize that your intake is on the low side, you are in good company.  The CDC conducted a study and found that on average, only 32.5% of Americans meet their needs for fruit and only 26.3% meet their vegetable needs.  These numbers have actually gotten worse since 2000.  Statistically, the highest intake is found in women, adults over 65, and in those with a college degree.  Surprisingly, fruit intake is very similar across income brackets (vegetable intake is highest in those with salaries above $50,000).  This shows that social factors and education may be more important than income.

But you may ask, why is it important?  Well for your personal health, it is probably the best thing you can do.  Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in salt, fat, and calorie making it easier to lose weight or stay where you are.  It has also been shown that a diet high in produce can reduce your risk for heart disease, certain cancers, stroke, lower your blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and kidney stones.  They are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, water, and phytonutrients.  All of these are critically important for your body to function properly and at its highest level.

Keep your eyes peeled for a follow up post on how to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your daily life.

Do you struggle with your produce intake?

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5 comments on “Are you Getting Enough Fruits and Veggies?

  1. Erica
    January 21, 2015

    I bought a big bag of brussels sprouts on Saturday night. They were all gone by Tuesday night. #domination

    • Wendy
      January 21, 2015

      Go sprouts! How do you prepare them? I’m a sauté with parm kind of person

  2. Lisa
    January 21, 2015

    I was thinking about natural sugar today as I was housing strawberries. Is natural sugar bad in large quantities? If so what counts as a large quantity? Help.

    • Wendy
      January 22, 2015

      Its more important if you have a preexisting condition like diabetes/pre-diabetes but if not, then the occasional berry binge wont be too bad. Considering a serving is about 1 cup and you need about 2 cups of fruit each day, if you keep it to around that in one sitting your probably good. Foods with natural sugar tend to also have fiber which helps to slow the sugar entering your blood stream. And if you space it out over the day, you can get away with more. Does that help?

  3. Pingback: Getting your fruits and vegetables into your daily routine | The Baier Necessities

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This entry was posted on January 20, 2015 by in General Health and tagged , , , , , .

About Me

Wendy Baier

Hello, I'm Wendy! I am a Registered Dietitian. I love technology, baking, running and nutrition.

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