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.
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||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.
Just use this chart or buy the book:
Much of this data was taken from : http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/ and http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/weight-loss/NU00595 which no longer exist.
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