Patients who come through the program often say, “I know I should
be eating more fruits and vegetables.” That tells me the health
industry in the U.S. has been sending a clear message that Americans are
not eating sufficient fruits and vegetables. So I ask back, “How
much more should you be eating?” Rarely do I get a response. Unfortunately,
the message is not completely clear and puts a lot of responsibility on
people without enabling them to act on it.
Dr. Oyinlola Oyebode and colleagues from the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health at
University College London found exactly how many portions of vegetables
and fruit will help reduce all-cause mortality from heart disease and
cancer. Seven portions of vegetables and fruit will help reduce rate of
mortality by 42%. Vegetables are more beneficial than fruit at reducing risk.
Rather than measuring out specific portion sizes, the easiest way to think
of a portion is to make a fist with your hand. The size of your fist is
specific to your body size. Think 7 fists of vegetables and fruit every
day! It may look like a large volume of food, but you may notice that
as you increase your vegetable and fruit consumption, it replaces other
foods in your diet. It’s actually a great way to shed excess body
fat as well.
By Kyla Bauer, Exercise Physiologist, PN1 Coach
By Suat Eman, published on 25 January 2009