Wednesday, October 10, 2012
(All images courtesy of www.fashionising.com)
I think this month in particular- being Breast Cancer Awareness Month - is a very pertinent time to discuss the topic of eating fruit and vegetables, given that it is reported that eating more fruit and vegetables is the second most important cancer prevention strategy after smoking cessation.
Given the widely recognized benefits of eating fruit and vegetables, which include lowering your risk of developing diseases such as high blood pressure, obesity, heart disease, stroke as well as some cancers, only 15% of adults are meeting the government’s target of consuming five portions of fruit and vegetables a day - 5-A-Day. On average, as a nation, we are eating less than three portions each day! Are you eating enough?
Some experts say that one of the reasons we are not eating enough, is because we don’t know what counts as a portion or even what constitutes a fruit or vegetable. So what is a portion? Below are some examples of what counts as a portion so that you can work out whether you are in the 15% or the 85%. If you count your portions, it might help you to increase the amount you eat.
Expensive? Some people use this reason/excuse for not buying fruit and vegetables, but it’s always interesting to see what these people are wearing - you know where I’m going with that don’t you…..
HOW MUCH IS A PORTION?
One apple or one pear or one orange or one banana
Half a large grapefruit or avocado
A slice of large fruit such as melon or pineapple
Two small fruits such as plums and satsumas
One heaped tablespoon of dried fruit such as raisins and apricots
Three heaped tablespoons of fruit salad (fresh/tinned in fruit juice with no added sugar)
150ml of 100% fruit juice
Three heaped tablespoons of vegetables (cooked, frozen or tinned in water with no added salt)
Cereal bowl sized salad
Three heaped tablespoons of beans and pulses such as baked beans (yes baked beans!) or kidney beans
150ml of 100% vegetable juice
-A 150ml glass of 100% fruit or vegetable juice counts as only one portion, no matter how much you drink as they contain less fibre than whole fruit and vegetables
-Three heaped tablespoons of beans and pulses only counts as one of your five a day portions no matter how much you eat because they do not have the same mix of nutrients
-The fruit and vegetables contained in convenience foods, such as ready meals, soups and puddings, can all contribute to 5-A-Day, but as I’m sure you are aware, convenience foods can also be high in added salt, sugar or fat, which should only be eaten in moderation
-To get maximum benefits, you need to eat different types of fruit and vegetables
-I’m afraid potatoes, yams, cassava and plantain do not count towards your 5 A day as they are classified nutritionally as starchy foods. They are different from fruit and vegetables because the main nutrient is starch.
How can I achieve the 5-A-Day target?
Quite easily! Here are some quick and easy tips:
- Have a glass of 100% fruit or vegetable juice with your breakfast- that’s one!
- Have a piece of fruit mid-morning -that’s two
- Have a salad with your lunch -that’s three!
- That horrible 3/4pm slump at work -grab another portion of fruit - that’s four
- Have some vegetables with your dinner - that’s five!
When you see this logo on food packets, you can be confident that it gives you at least one portion of fruit and vegetables.
LOOK FIRST-RATE…..FEEL GREAT!
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