Fruits & Veggies: How Many Servings Do You Need? (And How Much Is A "Serving", Anyway?)

Everyone always hears that you need multiple servings of fruits and vegetables for a healthy diet. I remember the older food pyramid recommending 5 servings a day; a couple years ago that increased to 8-9 servings per day. Wow, the idea of 8-9 servings a day of anything is discouraging enough to make me want to hide in the corner with a box of Twinkies. But who even understands what exactly is “one serving”? Read on and find out…

There’s a great website from the US CDC called “Fruits and Veggies Matter“. The website has a lot of resources for consumers as well as health professionals, including a really fun and useful “Analyze My Plate” interactive menu where you can drag-and-drop foods. And the best news is they’ve made it easier to understand “servings” as a more user-friendly “cup” portion. The front page has a nice calculator to determine how many cups a day you need. For example, I did the calculator and got instant recommendations that I need 2 cups of fruit and 3 cups of vegetables every day. I find that a lot more approachable than the generic “8-9 total servings a day”. Also, they have a nice group of photos that show exactly how much each portion counts as a cup. It’s great and very readable information that you can easily show children as well. For example, 1 small banana in cereal = 1/2 cup.

Fruits & Veggies Can Lower Blood Pressure

Now is as good a time as any to replay my slideshow on high blood pressure, the world’s #1 killer. People may not realize that diet alone can lower blood pressure! This slideshow below discusses all the healthy, non-prescription ways to lower your risk for blood pressure. I strongly recommend you watch it full-screen; just click on the “full” icon below the slide.

Follow me on:
Twitter @RichardStCyrMD
Facebook @BainbridgeBabaDoc

2 thoughts on “Fruits & Veggies: How Many Servings Do You Need? (And How Much Is A "Serving", Anyway?)”

  1. this is very interesting…and i think i really start to eat less and start work out, too early to settle with fat and panting…

  2. The Gov made a min of 5 servings daily so I reckoned 10 a day was the real goal with my family. Not too hard as tomato sauce, beans and fruit juice can count for 1 serving each.

    With fruit-based desserts and snacks (daughter didn't know of potato chips til age 6) and a little vegetable puree hidden in meals… presto!

    We also play a rainbow game trying to eat every color each day. Who wouldn't want to eat a rainbow?

Leave a Reply to Pat Sommer Cancel reply