Another area many people skimp on (like movement, sleep, and hydrating) is eating enough fruits and vegetables. According to the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, you should consume between 5 and 13 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. After reading the new 2015 Dietary Guidelines, they are recommending that American shift their focus to increasing the amount of veggies and fruits consumed.
Now many people (including health coaches) get very concerned about fruit and the amount of sugar it has in it. But fruit doesn’t have ADDED sugars which is where the real concern comes in. Check out this chart:
Food Category Sources of Added Sugars in the U.S. Population Ages 2 Years and Older
Here is the shift regarding sugar that is recommended:
Shift to reduce added sugars consumption to less than 10 percent of calories per day: Individuals have many potential options for reducing the intake of added sugars. Strategies include choosing beverages with no added sugars, such as water, in place of sugar-sweetened beverages, reducing portions of sugar-sweetened beverages, drinking these beverages less often, and selecting beverages low in added sugars. Low-fat or fat-free milk or 100% fruit or vegetable juice also can be consumed within recommended amounts in place of sugar-sweetened beverages. Additional strategies include limiting or decreasing portion size of grain-based and dairy desserts and sweet snacks and choosing unsweetened or no-sugar-added versions of canned fruit, fruit sauces (e.g., applesauce), and yogurt. The use of high-intensity sweeteners as a replacement for added sugars is discussed in Chapter 1 in the Added Sugars section.
Personally I have never worried about the sugar in fruit. Getting too much fruit is not a problem for most people. Getting too many vegetables is also not an issue. While I certainly believe you should eat whatever your body is craving (want a cupcake, eat a cupcake), I do believe we should aim to eat more whole foods than processed foods – and that’s where fruits and vegetables come in.
Many people only get 1-2 servings of fruits and veggies per day – so there is plenty of room to add in these good foods. Start by adding 1-2 servings daily and work your way up. If you are like me and don’t like many vegetables, sneak them in your food. I add tons of spinach to my smoothies. Find what works best for you. You will have to experiment. Try new fruits and veggies. Maybe buy something new each time you go to the grocery store. If you don’t like it, try something else the next week.Are you getting enough fruits and veggies in your diet? Find out now. Click To Tweet
How many fruits and veggies do you eat per day? What’s your favorite?