An outfit called the “International Food Information Council Foundation” recently conducted a survey of 1.057 adults in the U.S. asking them about their habits in eating fruits and vegetables. A majority of those adults confirmed that they are, indeed, attempting to include more fruits and vegetables into their daily meal planning. That’s the good news.
The not so good news is that other research shows that quite a number of people continue to east less than half of the amount of fruits and vegetables recommended by the U.S. Government. Both children and adults are eating about a half a cup each of both fruits and vegetables daily. If you were wondering, these findings don’t include french fries but do include other ways potatoes are served such as mashed and baked.
How Many Fruits and Vegetables Should You Eat?
The right answer to that sensible question is “it depends”. It depends on how many calories you eat daily. For example, the guidelines say that a 2,000 calorie a day diet should include 2 cups of fruit and 2 1/2 cups of vegetables each day. In a 1,400 calorie a day diet the recommended amounts are about 1 1/2 cups each of both fruits and vegetables. In both examples, that seems like a lot. Well, it can be done because everything counts. Fruits and vegetables in smoothies, the raisins in cereal, vegetable soup, chili beans, and tomato sauce all contribute towards the daily goal.
An easily remembered visual guide to eating the recommended quantity is to ensure that one half of your serving plate contains fruits and vegetables at each meal.
Shopping for Fruits and Vegetables
It won’t be easy to eat enough of these two foods unless your refrigerator and freezer is stocked up and this may well mean a shopping trip once or twice a week. And don’t worry too much about cost. One research study showed that eating the recommended daily amounts of fruits and vegetables costs between $2.00 and $2.50 a day. Put another way, healthy fruits and vegetables will cost you about half the cost of a fast food burger meal.
Another trick is to buy produce when its in season. Not only are the prices much less, but the taste and freshness are at their peak.