5 fruits and vegetables a day: Which ones, why and how?

The Health Watch Institute informed us in June 2019 that 17% of 6-17 year olds were overweight or obese versus 3% in 1965.
It is frightening to note that this epidemic affects all of our population, including our children.
In addition to the social embarrassment and even sometimes the resulting depression, obesity is the cause of many serious and disabling diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, venous insufficiency or even osteoarthritis.

It is in this context of near health crisis that the National Health Plan launched 2 major campaigns in 2001 and 2007 with the famous slogan “Eat five fruits and vegetables a day”, followed by the GERMCN* and the National Food Plan (PNA) in 2010 with the slogan, ” Eating healthy, is the business of everyone “.

5 fruits and vegetables a day, what does that mean?
It’s about consuming 5 servings of 80 to 100 grams of fruit and vegetables per day.
In total AT LEAST 400 grams per day. BE CAREFUL this is a minimum.
Clearly one or 2 servings of fruit and AT LEAST 3 servings of vegetables.
Indeed the fruit contains fructose, sugar of the fruit. Vegetables can be eaten at will.

Be careful, we hear, if you eat 3 servings of fruit, it’s not serious, it’s the repeated excess of fructose that is.
Because fructose is especially to be limited for people who consume sodas, pastries or industrial confectionery which are full of it.

So if at home you make your own pastries you can eat 3 servings of fruit without worrying, on the other hand if your child eats industrial sweets it will be advisable to take care to manage the fructose intake and to reduce the other sources of sugar. .
Note that a glass of fruit juice (100% pure juice otherwise it is a sweet drink) is equivalent to 1 serving of fruit and fruits are preferred if possible because unlike juice they contain fiber.

Vegetables if they are not cooked with a lot of fat can be eaten at will : fresh, raw, cooked, frozen, canned!
The best being fresh organic steamed vegetables.
But, anyway, a vegetable is always recommended in any form and I am well placed to know that sometimes when you come home late from work it is complicated to cook. So don’t feel guilty and don’t hesitate to have a few cans on hand in case of an emergency, it’s better than a meal without vegetables!

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Why 5 fruits and vegetables a day?
Because in addition to many minerals, trace elements and fibres, fruits and vegetables will provide you with vitamin C that you will not find anywhere else, the holy grail of the antioxidant (capable of neutralizing free radicals). As this is heat-sensitive*, it is advisable not to overcook, to favor steam cooking and to eat raw foods regularly.

How to do ?
ANSES* in its July 2018 report also underlined that food in France is a major marker of social disparities. This was also confirmed by the popular relief IPSO barometer published on September 11: 21% of people questioned admitted to having difficulty obtaining a healthy diet allowing them to eat 3 meals a day.

And often fruits and vegetables seem expensive.

Examples of combination of 635g for 1 person for 1 day:

1 banana 150g breakfast
1 apple 120g for dessert at noon
1 endive 170g in salad at noon
½ avocado 75g in between in the evening
1 carrot 120g gingham carrot recipe in the evening

You see 5 fruits and vegetables a day it’s not that complicated!

*The National Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health Safety

*Community Catering and Nutrition Market Research Group

* heat sensitive

* Presse Santé strives to transmit medical knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO CASE can the information given replace medical advice.

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