Do you eat enough fruits and vegetables every day? The USDA recommends that for each meal you fill up at least half your plate with fruits and or vegetables. Unfortunately, most Americans are failing to do so. The CDC reported that in 2017, only ONE out of every 10 adults in the United States consume the recommended daily amount of these food groups. The CDC also reported that 60% of children did not eat enough fruit to meet the daily recommendations and 93% of children didn't eat enough vegetables.
With all the fast food and sugary snacks that are available now, it's no wonder that healthier foods have become less appealing to eat. About 40% of Americans are obese, while one out of every three people are also pre-diabetic. The prevalence of obesity was 18.5% and affects about 13.7 million children and adolescents in the United States. It is not only possible to avoid becoming part of the statistic it's relatively simple to do. The best way to keep your body healthy and energize is as easy as feeding at the right foods every day. Through a properly balanced diet, adequate sleep, and active lifestyle you are not only significantly reducing your risk for chronic illness but you're also giving your body what it needs to thrive and be healthy.
As a pescatarian, I try to consume between six and eight fruits and vegetables every day. Now with that 6 to 8 daily recommendation, I only consume one fruit and the rest are vegetables. The USDA recommends that adults consume about 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables every day. The recommendations for children are based upon age, gender and level of physical activity and these recommendations are 1 to 2 cups of fruit and 1 to 3 cups of vegetables. The United States Dietary Guidelines is worth explaining that we no longer use grams or servings which is what I'm used to, but define how much produce we should eat they recommend that it's about 1 to 2 servings per cup depending on your age. I have always tried to have less than 1/3 protein on my plate and the rest are a rainbow of vegetables. I try to mainly Fruit eat in season and vegetables are the mainstay of my diet. Vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals, high in water and fiber content. This is what we call a nutrient dense food, which means they have a much higher number of beneficial nutrients per energy content (calorie) than foods that are not nutrient dense. Eating more vegetables on your plate will fill you up and make you feel fuller for a longer period of time, help stabilize your blood sugar level along with making you more regular in the bathroom. In general, I try to avoid corn, peas, potatoes, pumpkin, squash, and yams as they tend to contain fewer vitamins/minerals, less fiber and contain 2-3 times as many calories as their non-starchy vegetable counterparts.
I have always said that fruit roll ups are not a fruit, French fries are not at vegetable, fruit juice or gummies doesn't count as a serving of fruit either. It is more important to eat into your vegetables rather than drink them. While I am a fan of juicing, but that's just strictly carrots, kale, celery, and spinach most of the time, but I prefer to chew my food. So, the biggest question is… are you getting your 4 plus cups of fruits and vegetables per day. I know that you would feel a lot better if you did, your body would be a lot more healthier, more energized, less inflammation and be a lot more regular so… spend more time in the produce department and let's eat those vegetables. As always, if you have any questions feel free to contact us, Thanks Dr. Joe