So now that we are all convinced that we really should be eating more fruits and vegetables for lower cholesterol levels and higher fiber intake, but you may still be wondering what counts as a serving? And how do I eat 9 of them every day?
Today, I’m going to address what. What is a serving? Okay, 9 apples in one day may seem daunting. But, when you consume multiple servings at lunch or dinner, well you’d be surprised at how many servings you can get into one meal.
Depending on the item, a serving is 1/2 to 1 cup of chopped fruit or vegetable or 1 medium piece of fruit or vegetable. Lettuce, which has high water content and little volume is 2 cups, chopped. Dried fruit, which contains more calories than fresh fruit is only a single, half-cup serving. And really, a half-cup really isn’t that much. Check out this great visual from Chow so you can see what an actual serving looks like. Need more specifics? Check out the alphabetical image gallery from Choose My Plate of fruit and vegetable serving sizes.
Let’s not eat 9 apples in one day. Instead, let’s combine servings and add them throughout the day. Try a morning smoothie with 2-3 servings of fruit and a handful of spinach, or add extra veggies onto a homemade pizza. See my menu below.
I easily fit my 9 servings in by having multiple servings in one meal; i.e., stir-fry and mixed, roasted vegetables. I had an orange with my egg & bacon slices for breakfast this morning. For lunch, a veggie & tofu stir-fry: 1/2 cup sugar snap peas, 1/2 cup mushrooms, 1/2 cup broccoli. I sliced up half a mango to mix in with my yogurt for an afternoon snack and and a banana post-workout. Dinner was mixed roasted vegetables (1/2 c brussel sprouts, 1/2 cup rutabaga, and 1/2 cup carrot) with fish.