Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

About The Buzz: Research shows it’s easy to get your veggies!

TheBUZZ: Research shows it’s easy to get your veggies!

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
New research shows meeting your daily recommendation for fruits & veggies can be as simple and affordable as opening a can of tomatoes or adding a potato to each meal!

WHAT WE KNOW

We know the story … you want your family to eat more fruits and vegetables and you intend to serve more, but practical issues seem to always get in the way! We know that many factors—availability, planning, finances, prioritizing, taste preferences—attribute to your healthy eating plans and at times it seems too complicated!

A recent report found the average American consumes less than two (2) cups of fruits and veggies each day (it should be 4-5 cups!) and just 1% of adults and 2% of kids meet BOTH the fruit and veggie recommendations each day! Currently health initiatives, such as Let’s Move and the recent release of the new MyPlate icon, have focused on promoting more practical ways to get American families to eat MORE fruits & veggies!

HOW DO WE KNOW THIS?

New research from ConAgra Foods, the maker of Hunt’s® tomatoes, revealed a practical recommendation for adding more canned tomatoes to consumer diets to meet their daily recommendation of vegetables. For 10 weeks, 132 participants were provided recipes and meal ideas on how to include two servings of canned tomatoes in their diet. The results showed not only could consumers meet the recommendation (most averaged 6.5 servings (3 ¼ cups) per day) but more than 90% of them said it was easy to do!¹

Worried about fitting more fruits and veggies into your food budget? Potatoes were found to be the lowest cost source of dietary potassium, a nutrient identified by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines as lacking in the American diet. The cost of potassium-rich white potatoes was half that of most other vegetables.² Read More about Potassium

OUR ADVICE

Finding easy ways to improve your diet – like adding tomatoes – is one of the most important things we can do to make the dietary guidelines feasible. While life is hectic sometimes, remember that a little bit of planning can go a long way—especially when it comes to your health!

To add MORE fruits & veggies …

    • Work fruits and vegetables into meals instead of just side dishes. See Recipes
    • Eat a fruit or vegetable (or both) every 2-3 hours. This will keep your energy up and help you meet your daily recommendation!
    • Toss frozen and fresh fruits and vegetables in a blender for a quick drink full of nutrients and cups of fruits and veggies! See Recipes
    • Check out our realistic Family Meal Makeovers

When time is limited …

To make fruits & veggies more affordable …

    • All forms of fruits and veggies are nutritious for you. Survey the store or market and purchase the cheapest form (fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100% juice).
    • Try our 30 Ways in 30 Days: Menu a Day for complete menus that feed up to 4 for less than $10 (that’s hard to beat!).
    • Shop in season! Buying fresh fruits and veggies in season is generally the cheapest time to buy them.
    • Substitute plant sources of protein (beans, lentils, peas, etc.) for animal sources.

 

¹ ConAgra Foods. “Finally, a Diet Recommendation That’s Easy to Follow – Eat More Tomatoes.” Paper presented at American Dietetic Association’s Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, San Diego, California September 24-27, 2011.

² Drewnoski, A., C. Rehm. “White Potatoes Are Among the Most Affordable Sources of Potassium in the American Diet.” Paper presented at American Dietetic Association’s Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, San Diego, California September 24-27, 2011.

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