While we’ve had the recommended intake drummed into heads, many of us a not living by the two fruits and five vegetables a day regime. To put it in numbers, only 1 in 5 Australians are getting the right intake, with the rest of us falling dismally behind.
The CSIRO surveyed 145,000 adults to assess fruit and veg intake in men and women. Men came out of the survey faring worse than women, with 15 per cent of men and 24 per cent of women sticking to the 2 fruit and 5 veg way of life.
So why aren’t we getting enough of these great foods into our diet? There could be many factors at play here, but one of these may be convenience. Lifestyle factors such as a fast-paced lifestyle that lessens the time taken to prepare meals or choosing to eat out could be affecting the amount of vegetables and fruit we incorporate in our daily diet.
What we can do about it
First and foremost, you’ll need to educate yourself a little bit to determine how much food will actually fill your quota of fruit and vegetables for the day. The serving size you will need will depend on the food you choose, however typically a standard serve of vegetables is 75 grams and a standard serve of fresh fruit is 150 grams.
This may sound silly, but the fact is the more you buy the more likely you will be to eat them. Having healthy snacks available in the fridge, freezer and cupboards will help encourage you to choose those things over those fatty, sugary alternatives.
Often used as a tactic for kids, hiding fruit and veggies in other dishes can be a great option for all ages. Whether you are combining more vegetables into that pasta sauce or getting creative with your salads by adding more fruit, there are little ways to trick yourself into eating more fruits and veg than you thought.
When eating vegetables and certain fruits seem like a chore, there is a tasty and quick solution: drink them. Smoothies are a great way to quickly boost your intake and is a great solution for those who usually struggle eating vegetables on their own.
Changing your diet may take some time, but the more you eat healthier foods the easier it becomes and you may find you start favouring these over your guilty pleasures.