Contributed by Ernest J.
I don’t know about you but I am totally confused by the Food Pyramid. I know I am supposed to eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables but how much is a serving? Is it a whole apple? Or a container of berries? I decided to figure it out and share it here.
Serving sizes are about half a cup of fruit or vegetables. Leafy green vegetables like spinach or kale are the exception to the rule and a piece of fruit, such as an apple orange or banana, is considered to be one serving size. Here are some other surprising single serving sizes:
- 5 broccoli florets
- Half a baked sweet or regular potato
- An ear of corn
- 15 grapes
- Six strawberries
- ¾ cup of vegetable juice
Eating fruits and vegetables gives us the antioxidants we need to keep our bodies healthy and ward off disease. They are naturally low in calories even though they contain fructose, a form of sugar. But be careful, fruits and vegetables might be tasty but, how they are prepared might make them less healthy and good for you. For example:
- Asparagus is good for you but slather it with hollandaise sauce and the health benefits slip away.
- A salad drenched in Caesar dressing or apples in a pie aren’t as healthy as eating salad with dressing on the side or an apple on its own.
- Deep fried onion rings or potatoes aren’t as healthy as sauteed onions in olive oil or a baked potato.
Vary the types of fruit and vegetables you eat so you can get the most nutrition. The more colorful the fruit and vegetable the more nutritious—dark kale has more antioxidants than iceberg lettuce.
To help you keep track of how many fruits and vegetables I eat, I found an APP which holds me accountable. In the end, I found I had nothing to worry about. I am able to eat at least four servings a day and by keeping track I make sure I fit in that fifth portion.
How do you incorporate fruits and vegetables into your diet?