Every March the American Dietetic Association observes National Nutrition Month®. This year the theme is ‘Eat Right with Color.’ Research suggests people who eat generous amounts of different colored fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet are likely to reduce their risks of chronic diseases including strokes, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancer.
The 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that a person needing 2,000 calories a day eat 21⁄2 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit per day. To meet that goal, most people need to eat more fruits and vegetables. All forms of fruits and vegetables count: fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and 100% fruit juice. Whole fruit, however, contains more fiber then juice so it’s best to limit juice to 1 cup or less per day. To get the variety that different colored vegetables provide, the following amounts from the vegetable subgroups (based on 2,000 calories) is recommended:
- Dark green vegetables (3 cups per week)
- Orange vegetables (2 cups per week)
- Dried beans and peas (3 cups per week)
- Starchy vegetables (3 cups per week)
- Other vegetables (6 1/2 cups per week)
To find out how many cups of fruits and vegetables you should be eating, visit www.mypyramid.gov.