Is 5 a day enough?
There has been longstanding advice from the World Health Organisation to eat five portions (400g) of fruit and vegetables each day which is the UK public health advice. A study published last week by the Imperial College London suggests that eating ten a day (800g) would have much stronger health benefits further reducing our risks of cancer (by 13%), heart disease (by 28%) and premature death (by 31%). So should we all now be aiming for ten portions a day?
Fruits and vegetables are fundamental to a healthy balanced diet as they provide a variety of vitamins, minerals, fibre and other plant nutrients that have health benefits. But ten is a big step if you rarely manage to eat five a day. In the UK, we are struggling to achieve this, as only about one in three people eats enough, so my advice would be just to start eating a little bit more every day.
There are lots of ways to add fruit and vegetables into your diet, make it a habit to include at least one portion with every meal and you will soon be well on your way to five. One portion counts as 80g of fruit or vegetables e.g. a small banana, an apple, a small bowl of salad leaves. You will notice when you are shopping that five a day logos are on lots of food products, certainly in M&S, to help make it easier for customers to do this. Remember fresh, frozen, canned and dried fruit and vegetables all count, but potatoes don’t so I’m afraid an extra portion of chips won’t count!