If you are like us, you’re always trying to be as healthy as you can be, but sometimes there are so many different opinions about how much to eat of what that it can be difficult to know what advice to follow. The principle we follow is to just try and eat as many vegetables a day as possible, but what do key guidelines suggest?
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in Australia recommends we aim for 5 serves of vegetables & legumes plus 2 serves of fruit for women and men aged 19-60. One serve for example may be 1 medium sized potato, ½ a cup of lentils, ½ a cup of brussels sprouts or 1 medium sized orange.
So, how do Australian’s fair when we look at eating a healthy amount of fruit and vegetables? Interestingly, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics in the National Health Survey 2014-15 about 49.8% of Australians aged 18 years and over meet the serves of fruit (2+) each day. Ok that’s not too bad, but that still means that half of us should be eating a lot more fruit. More alarmingly, 93% of us currently don’t get enough vegetables! The findings show that only 7% of us are getting the recommended amount to stay healthy!
So how do we up the number of vegetables we have each day? We see it coming down to a couple of things: making vegetables enjoyable to eat – go on, add some herbs and spices to make them taste great, keep an open mind and try different vegetables, explore and you might find that those brussels sprouts you disliked as a child actually tastes pretty nice if cooked the right way. Most important of all is to build up good habits – make it as easy as possible for you to eat vegetables. We believe the more you get into a good habit of feeding yourself vegetables, the easier it will be and the more your body craves the nutrients that vegetables provide.
So if you aren’t already, make it your goal to be in that 7% of us that do get enough vegetables and legumes a day – Your body will thank you!
National Health and Medical Research Council (2013) Australian Dietary Guidelines. Canberra, <https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/sites/default/files/files/the_guidelines/n55_australian_dietary_guidelines.pdf >
National Health Service (2016) Public Health England in association with the Welsh government, Food Standards Scotland and the Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland,
Australian Bureau of Statistics (2014), 4364.0.55.001 – National Health Survey: First Results, 2014-15.