How Many Servings of Fruits and Vegetables a Day are Enough?

To some extent, how many servings of fruits and vegetables a day depends on who you ask, what your goals are (be healthy, survive, lose weight, gain muscle…), and who you are (child, adult, big, small, age…).   The good news is that the answers are usually similar. Most would say at least two servings of fruit and three of vegetables.  They would say that the smaller you are the smaller the serving size. Check out what the CDC has to say at:

 

http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/

 

Both the American Heart Association and the Mayo Clinic suggest the National Institute‘s DASH diet for those who want to reduce heart related problems.



Food group Servings for a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet Servings for a 1,600-calorie-a-day diet Examples of 1 serving  
Grains (mainly whole grains) 6 to 8 a day 6 a day                                      1 slice whole-wheat bread
                                     1 ounce (oz.) dry cereal
                                  1/2 cup cooked cereal
                                  1/2 cup cooked rice or pasta
                                  1/2 English muffin or small bagel (2 oz.)
Fruits 4 to 5 a day 4 a day                                   1/2 cup (4 fluid oz.) 100% fruit juice
                                  1 medium fruit
                                  1/2 cup fresh, frozen or canned fruit
                                  1/4 cup dried fruit
Vegetables  4 to 5 a day 3 to 4 a day                                   1/2 cup (4 fluid oz.) low-sodium vegetable juice
                                     1 cup raw leafy green vegetables
                                  1/2 cup cooked vegetables
                                     1 small potato
                                     1 sweet potato 
Dairy foods (low-fat or fat-free) 2 to 3 a day 2 to 3 a day                                      1 cup (8 fluid oz.) milk
                                     1 cup yogurt
                                     1 1/2 oz. cheese
Lean meats, poultry and fish 6 or fewer a day 3 to 6 a day                                      1 oz. cooked lean meat, skinless poultry or fish
                                     1 egg (no more than 4 a week)
                                     2 egg whites
Nuts, seeds and dry beans 4 to 5 a week 3 a week                                    1/3 cup (1.5 oz.) nuts
                                     2 tablespoons peanut butter
                                     2 tablespoons (1/2 oz.) seeds
                                  1/2 cup cooked dry beans or peas
Fats and oils 2 to 3 a day 2 a day                                      1 teaspoon soft margarine
                                     1 tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise
                                     2 tablespoons light salad dressing
                                     1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Sweets  5 or fewer a day 0                                  1 tablespoon sugar
                                    1 tablespoon jelly or jam
                                 1/2 cup sorbet
                                    1 cup (8 fluid oz.) sugar-sweetened lemonade
 DASH. National Heart, Lung and Blood Institure http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/public/heart/hbp/dash/new_dash.pdf


MyPyramid.gov talks about how many cups of fruit a day and how many cups of vegetables per week one should eat.

 



chart of servings of fruit a day


chart of servings of vegetables a week


To lose weight, try the Mayo Clinic Diet pyramid:

 

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/weight-loss/NU00595 

Better yet, just use this chart or buy the book:



chart of how many servings of fruits and vegetables a day

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