September is Fruits & Veggies – More Matters Month. Sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Produce for Better Health Foundation, Fruits & Veggies – More Matters Month aims to promote the health benefits of eating fruit and vegetables.
But what does “more” mean? First off – let’s look at how much fruit and vegetables we should be eating per day:
- USDA’s MyPlate.gov urges you to make half your plate fruits and vegetables
- CDC’s Fruit & Vegetable calculator says that most adults should aim for 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables per day
- Healthy People 2020 objectives say aim for 0.9 cups of fruit and 1.1 cups of veg per 1000 calories – basically 2 cups of fruit per day and 2.2 cups of veg per person consuming a typical 2000 calorie diet
And how much do we eat?
Well, not enough.
- No state met the Healthy People 2010 targets related to fruit & vegetable consumption among adults
- Only 32.5% of adults ate fruit 2 or more times per day
- Only 26.3% consumed vegetables 3 or more times per day
Wondering how your state stacks up?
- Highest percentage of fruit goal intake is in Washington, DC where 40.2% eat fruit 2 or more times per day
- Lowest percentage of fruit goal intake is in Oklahoma with 18.1% eating fruit 2 or more times per day
- Highest percentage of vegetable goal intake is in Tennessee with 33% of adults eating veg 3 or more times per day
- Lowest percentage of vegetable goal intake is in South Dakota with 19.6% of adults eating veg 3 or more times per day
So what can you do this Fruits & Veggies – More Matters month to increase intake?
- Fight back with fruit snacksĀ – when the mid-afternoon munchies hit, reach for fruit, aiming for 3 pieces per day
- Color up your plate’s palate – make meals that feature at least 2 different colors of vegetables
- Mix your meat with fruits & veg – take the plate space where all that meat used to go & replace half with fruit or veg
- Branch out – try one new fruit or vegetable each week; check out a list of different fruits & vegetables from the USDA here
- Shop smart – try out this shopping list for healthy foods tool available from CDC here
When you’re done bumping up your fruit & veg levels, celebrate! You can even send a CDC e-card to “share your newfound love for fruits and veggies” available here.
For more great tips for Fruits and Veggies – More Matters Month, visit: http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/.