Friday, November 19, 2010

Don't Fail Your Fruit and Veggies Report Card

The National Fruit and Vegetable Alliance (NFVA) recently released a report that showed in an average day, only 6 percent of individuals consume the recommended amount of vegetables and 8 percent the recommended amount of fruit. The US’s report card didn’t look to great, and even received a couple Fs.
The societal cost of NOT eating fruits and vegetables: $56.2 billion (grew 9% each year over last 5 years), growing health care cost of treating diet-related diseases To put this in perspective, eight of the states with the lowest fruit and vegetable consumption are also in the top 10 states with the highest obesity rates. William Dietz, M.D., Ph.D., director of CDC's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity said,
“A diet high in fruits and vegetables helps maintain a healthy weight and
reduces the risk of several serious, chronic diseases. We need to continue
our effort in making the healthy choice the easy choice.”
Fruits and vegetables are cancer fighters, heart protectors, and just plain delicious. And as Joan Salge-Blake RD, always says, “They’ll fill you UP before they fill you OUT.” I'm a self-proclaimed vegetable junkie, and it breaks my little heart to see them left off of other people's plates!

So how can you make the healthy choice and increase your fruit and vegetable consumption? Here are some great tips from the Fruits & vegetables: More Matters Campaign.

  • Add strawberries, blueberries, or bananas to your waffles, pancakes, cereal, oatmeal, or toast.

  • Top toasted whole-grain bread with peanut butter and sliced bananas

  • Add some cooked dry beans to your salad. Or, if you have a sweet tooth, add chopped apples, pears, or raisins.

  • Pack a fruit with your lunch.

  • Have soup. You can stick with the basics like tomato or vegetable soup or mix up some minestrone or veggie chili to cut winter's chill. When possible, choose soups with less sodium.

  • Try eating at least 2 vegetables with dinner

  • Snack on vegetables like bell pepper strips and broccoli with hummus

  • Stash bags of dried fruit at your desk for a convenient snack.

  • Drink a fruit smoothie made with whole fruit, ice cubes, and soy or almond milk

  • Canned, dried, and frozen fruits and vegetables are also good options. Look for fruit without added sugar or syrups and vegetables without added salt, butter, or cream sauces.

  • Ants on a log isn’t just for kids- put some natural peanut butter on celeries and top with raisins

What's your favorite way to eat your fruits and vegetables?


Jenny said...

Frozen fruit for dessert, veggie-filled salads, and snack bags of baby carrots and edamame :)

Rachel/Coconut Crumbs said...

Just wanted to say happy birthday to you!! <3

@irun2befit said...

Ha, cool! Thanks for the reminder!

Emily Saltzberg said...

I love a huge spinach or arugula salad with broccoli, and tomato soup is amazing.

Look at these Farm Land Services said...

What a fun challenge. Plus this is so healthy. I must do this.