Fruits and Vegetables: I'm curious how people... - Healthy Eating

Healthy Eating

56,392 members8,222 posts

Fruits and Vegetables

whatgoingon profile image
26 Replies

I'm curious how people can eat 5 or 6 servings of fruits and vegetable per day. That's more food in total than I eat all day.

26 Replies
Zest profile image

HI whatgoingon

There's some information in the NHS Livewell pages on getting 5-a-day, so you could have a look at that:

Hope that's helpful.

Zest :-)

Kaz747 profile image

Fruit: I usually have blueberries (frozen) in a protein shake for breakfast and I’ll have a banana, mandarin, apple or grapes for a snack during the day. I love cherries when they are in season (which is around Christmas here). Sometimes I’ll have a small scoop of ice cream with fresh blueberries and strawberries with sugar-free Maple Syrup and nuts for dessert.

Veggies: I’ll try and have a salad or a veggie (mushroom, tomatoes, onion, spinach) omelette for lunch and will always have veggies with dinner. The other night we just had roast veggies with gravy (no meat) - roasted potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, cauliflower and shallots plus steamed broccoli and green beans.

whatgoingon profile image
whatgoingon in reply to Kaz747

Thank you. That looks like a lot of veggies to me. I guess the trick is to try to eat as many as you can. I am a really light eater so this sounds like so much food to me. I should come over for dinner some time (just kidding) cause it sounds so good.

TheAwfulToad profile image
TheAwfulToad in reply to whatgoingon

Yeah, I really wouldn't get obsessed over it. The 5-servings-a-day thing has no scientific basis; it's just a figure pulled out of someone's, uh, hat. "As many as you can" is a perfectly reasonable plan.

Kaz747 profile image
Kaz747Star in reply to whatgoingon

Yes but they’re not always a ‘serve’. In my omelette for example I may have 1 mushroom, 2 or 3 cherry tomatoes, a slice of onion and a handful of baby spinach. I like to try and get a variety of colours and flavours

TheAwfulToad profile image
TheAwfulToad in reply to Kaz747

I do exactly the same. I don't sit there obsessively counting how many 'servings' I've got, I just try to put together a meal that looks and tastes nice. Sometimes that means more veg, sometimes less. I think it's a pity the Experts lay down these weirdly specific rules; it just gets people worried for no good reason.

Kaz747 profile image
Kaz747Star in reply to TheAwfulToad

I think it’s just a guide to make people aware of what they are putting in their mouths. I am amazed, especially when watching TV shows like “Embarrassing Bodies” and “You are what you eat”, that so many people eat no, or very little veggies and fruit. No wonder people are getting fatter and sicker.

TheAwfulToad profile image
TheAwfulToad in reply to Kaz747

Sure, I get that. It's just that some people take it a bit too literally.

You're right though, it's pretty scary how few vegetables appear on the average British plate. I suppose part of the problem is that us Brits historically don't have much clue how to prepare veg in appetizing ways. Add on top of that the advice to remove things like cream, butter and salt, and you've taken away all the reasons people might have for eating veg (ie., they taste nice ... if cooked properly).

Kaz747 profile image
Kaz747Star in reply to TheAwfulToad

I use butter and cream at times. I remember reading “Why French Women Don’t Get Fat” years ago :) Everything in moderation. I live in Australia but was born in England. I cook much healthier meals than my mum did when we were growing up. Dad used to love things like sausage, eggs, chips and baked beans for dinner (sadly he died of stomach cancer at 66). I cook with a lot of veggies and many different cuisines. I also make lots of different types of salads. Dinner tonight will be veggie slice (which has a little bacon in it) with a salad made with beetroot, pumpkin, spinach, feta and crushed almonds. I have a super fit 25 year old daughter who loves to cook healthy so we swap a lot of recipes.

TheAwfulToad profile image
TheAwfulToad in reply to Kaz747

It's very sad to find ourselves changing our lifestyles in response to losing a family member too early. My dad is in terrible shape and I look to him as an example of what not to do :)

The French ... we Brits might poke fun at them sometimes, but they sure know how to eat!

Kaz747 profile image
Kaz747Star in reply to TheAwfulToad

Yes, dark chocolate 🍫 and red wine 🍷 are a good start 😀 (in moderation of course- not that I’m drinking anything at the moment)

TheAwfulToad profile image

I suppose it all depends what you mean by a 'serving', but since I eat low-carb, I tend to give them priority on the plate. Occasionally my meals are distinctly veg-light, but I'll generally make up for it at the next meal or the next day.

If "5-6 servings" of veg is less than you eat, you're probably eating too little.

I'd also add that a potato doesn't count as a vegetable (I think even the NHS agrees about that).

CDreamer profile image

And I’m curious as to how you can eat less than 5-10 varieties - not portions - per day. Small handful of mixed berries for breakfast with yogurt or a smoothie with apple, melon or pineapple, watercress, ginger and lemon, mixed salads or vegetable stews & curries, home made sourkrauts and veg with BBQ’s, roasted mixed veg. Portion control is important and we all do mostly eat too much - or too little.

Henbur profile image

I know what you mean as the size of the portions does seem a lot especially if you were to eat them in that format. I have decided to ramp cooking up to contain more veggies and try and eat from the rainbow (this is eating a variety of different colours as recommended by Dr Chatterjee). I don’t worry whether each veggie meets the arbitrary 5 a day figure. I have superfooded my normal curries, chillis, stews etc by adding lentils and beans along with grated carrots and courgettes, finely chopped onions, peppers or greens depending on the dish. Food processed broccoli and cauli etc. If you grate or food process things they thicken sauces without making it too lumpy. You can of course blend a sauce before putting the meat or other veg textures back. I make tomato sauces this way!

Replacing white or beige foods like white rice and pasta with black rice and spiralised courgette, butternut squash or cauli/ broccoli rice. Sweet potatoes in place of white potatoes etc. It all adds up!

In similar way smoothies are a good way of getting a lot if fruit into a drink if you use a blender rather than a juicer you still get the fibre. If you use fruits that have been frozen and use a good blender you can add Greek yoghurt and make a healthy frozen yoghurt ice cream as dessert. If that’s to filling use ice and make a fruit sorbet! 😊

Eatsalottie profile image

It does seem a lot, but I've found since I went on a diet that actually, by following healthy eating suggestions, I've caught up on my five a day. Plain yoghurt with blueberries or raspberries is a lovely dessert, for example, and rather than potatoes I will have two lots of veggies on my plate - a generous heap because it stops me feeling hungry and wanting to snack. Plus of course, having fruit as a snack rather than biscuits, it all helps. And of course at this time of year we are up to our ears in courgettes and cucumbers, so I have to eat them in self defence, or end up under a pile of them!

Kitten-whiskers profile image

Good afternoon Judyagasco,

If I am having a day where I am not feeling hungry, I tend to blend up my fruits and Veggies and drink them - I find it a great way of getting the extra nutrition, although I do limit my fruit intake because of the sugar content.

Best wishes


deejames profile image

Its easy to eat a couple of peices of fruit as a snack. A salad, a bowl of soup, veg with the evening meal. I eat more than 5 portions but I am vegetarian.

whatgoingon profile image

There is so much about eat this don't eat that. It drives people crazy. Here in the US there has been so much illness caused by eating fresh fruits and vegetables a person has to wonder if any food is safe to eat. Thank you for your reply. I am just going to do the best I can. I am happy your diet is working for you. I have never tried Kefir. It might be too expensive for me.

Lulububs profile image

I understand this problem i am a very light eater as i have ibs so i eat little and often... but even so i prob only do about 1000 cals a day if that.

So i have a banana for brekkie.

Then at lunch il have a nectarine.

Then in evening il make a proper dinner ie a small chicken fillet with lots of different roasted veg it not about amount it about having lotsa variety.

So il have half a carrott

And a sweet pot and some corguette, parsnip and just cut all up in one dish and roast it is absolutley lovely and there ur 5-7 a day! It only a small dinner but u got all ur veg on there plus ur fruit in day.

Or i have a nakd bar as that has nuts, raisins, dates all in it and that classed as one a day.

Or make a smoothie?

I just find ways of getting it down my neck without feeling stuffed and over fed

whatgoingon profile image
whatgoingon in reply to Lulububs

Thank you. I just don't have much appetite so eat to live not live to eat. Your plan sounds good to me. I will try to make an effort to sneak some fruits in. The roasted veg idea sounds good too. I just have to change my eating. P.S. I hate cooking.

Lulububs profile image
Lulububs in reply to whatgoingon

Yeh im not a great fan of cooking but i know i have to eat as i am underweight.

So i just cook the things i know il like, i hate boiled veg so i roast it... it nice and sweet and caramalized.

sunny369 profile image

I think 5 - 10 a day is just a figure plucked out of the air. I think it is all about variety and veg and fruit being consistently wide spread in your diet. If you are eating plenty variety I don't see why you should think in terms of large portions. If volume is an issue for you think about incorporating veg and fruit in sauces, smoothies, juices, soups etc and eating small portions of them. Don't feel like you need to eat a whole banana for example, just have a few slices. I had a portion of dahl for my dinner (quite a generous portion being me, but it could have been a small portion!) which had onion, garlic, ginger and an apple in it which had 'disappeared' into the sauce, with some sliced banana and some green baby spinach leaves on the side, then I had 2 plums for dessert.

If it all feels too much, maybe have small amounts and spread them out throughout the day, and just make the most of any plant foods that you do enjoy :)

whatgoingon profile image
whatgoingon in reply to sunny369

Thank you. Some of the ideas here are helping me see how to eat better. Appreciate your reply.

benwl profile image

Depends on the type of IBS.

I have C type IBS and I definitely need to have lots of fibre to keep it under control.

Lulububs profile image

Yeh i have ibs c so i can eat as much fruit and veg as i like as i need

To or i cant go .... if u get my meaning💩💩😂😂

andyswarbs profile image

You ask how is it possible? The answer is easy.

Rarely a day goes by without me consuming a head of broccoli (stalk and all), a bag of dark leafy greens, perhaps a carrot or two or three, a banana or two, some strawberries, raspberries, blueberries. There may be an apple in there, as well as an orange or lemon. A sweet potato can be a cornerstone of dinner, perhaps with peas. Right now with sweetcorn in season they are so so sweet...

All of course with no oils/fats.

This is topped up with rice, quinoa, wheat (perhaps bread or pasta), buckwheat etc to ensure I get plenty of calories.

And so starting my day with my large bowl of porridge I have plenty of energy for the day, never have the need for snacks and my weight gently drops and drops and drops.

The whole thing provides fully balanced nutrition with vastly reduced risks of strokes, heart attacks, cancer, dimentia etc etc etc as future years roll by.

You may also like...