Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Seven a day

I was reading an article today on cancer prevention by top nutritionist Patrick Holford in which he advocated eating seven or more portions of fruit and veg per day. Whilst
I think your average Joe probably struggles to eat five a day, seven is achievable and worth trying to do.

Firstly what counts as a portion?

1 medium sized fruit such as an orange, apple or pear, 2 small fruits such as apricots or plums, half a cup of chopped fruit or vegetables or a cup of salad.
I don't count potatoes or dried fruit as portions, but do allow one portion to be a fresh fruit or vegetable juice or smoothie (not more due to the high concentration of fruit sugars). I also recommend not eating more portions of fruit than you have of veg.

So how do you get your seven a day?

The key is to get into the habit of having at least one portion of fruit or veg with every meal or snack you have:

Breakfast: start your day with a fruit salad (2 portions) or add some chopped fruit or berries to your muesli or cereal (1 portion). If you're having a cooked breakfast have some grilled tomato and/or mushrooms (1 portion each).

Lunch: having a mixed salad at lunch is a great opportunity to up your veggie intake and can easily have 2-3 portions of veg in it. If you're having a hot lunch have a vegetable side and some fruit for dessert (2 portions).

Snack: Have a palmful of nuts and a piece of fruit (1 portion), a fruit smoothie with natural yoghurt (1 portion), a carrot stick and hummous snack pack (1 portion) or a mini salad pot (M+S + Tescos) (1 portion).

Dinner: get into the habit of starting your dinner with a salad whether at home or in a restaurant (1-2 portions) and always have a vegetable side with your main meal (1 portion). If you've got room for pudding have some mixed berries (frozen or fresh) or a baked apple (1 portion).

Bar Snacks; along with the vine leaves, bread sticks and potato wedges order some olives, sun dried tomatoes or artichoke hearts (1 portion).

And just in case it needs clarifying having a peach bellini or an olive in your martini doesn't count!


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