You Probably Need to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

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steamer veggies You Probably Need to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Healthy People 2010, a national health promotion and disease prevention initiative, has a goal to get persons over the age of 2 eating at least 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of vegetables each day. Fruits and vegetable consumption is associated with a lower risk for chronic diseases and lower BMI. The Center for Disease Control recently reported that consumption is not nearing the goals.1
Quiz yourself
You can use the 2005 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) questions to judge whether or not you are getting enough fruits and vegetables each day:
1) "How often do you drink fruit juices such as orange, grapefruit, or tomato?"
2) "Not counting juice, how often do you eat fruit?"
3) "How often do you eat green salad?"
4) "How often do you eat potatoes, not including French fries, fried potatoes, or chips?"
5) "How often do you eat carrots?"
6) "Not counting carrots, potatoes, or salad, how many servings of vegetables do you usually eat? (Example: a serving of vegetables at both lunch and dinner would be two servings.)"
Fruit (questions one and two):
You should be eating fruit at least 2 or 3 times a day. 100% fruit juice can help you increase your servings of fruit, but this is not as good as whole fruit itself since it is devoid of the fiber. The 2005 Dietary Guidelines call for most individuals to get 2 cups of fruit per day. Right now the national average is just 1.6 servings.
Vegetables (questions three to six):
You should be eating at least 2.5 cups of veggies per day. This should include a dark green and orange vegetable each day, not just French fries, ketchup and potato chips. Most people do not get near enough and the BRFSS survey shows that consumption has dropped as a national average.

Often, just the slightest changes can make a big difference. Here are ways to boost your fruit and vegetable consumption:
• Eat fruit for breakfast, snacks and desserts. Vending machine food, packaged snacks and bakery items add extra calories to your waistline. Further, they are probably displacing the fruits and veggies you could be eating.
• Eat vegetables for lunch and dinner. Big tossed salads with dark green lettuce and a few carrots are a good idea. Low-fat pasta with veggies, vegetable soup, veggie side dishes, baked potatoes and raw veggies are good choices, too.
1. MMR Weekly; March 16, 2007 /56(10);213-217

Healthy Shopping List
• Rice, pasta, whole grain cereal, oatmeal
• Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, green onions, carrots, frozen broccoli, mushrooms, canned tomatoes, pasta sauce
• Apples, melon, berries, bananas, oranges, grapefruit, grapes, raisins
• Parmesan, yogurt, skim milk
• Chicken, fish, lentils, egg whites

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