New Campain Encourages Produce Consumption

Heather Reese Health Guide
  • Have you heard about the Juggler? You will soon be seeing the bright colored icon on fruits, vegetables and other foods that contain them.

     

    This icon is part of the “Fruits and Veggies – More Matters” campaign, a joint venture of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Produce for Better Health Foundation. The program is designed to encourage Americans to consume higher amounts of fruits and vegetables. It replaces the original 5-a-day campaign launched by the National Cancer Institute in 1991 that was later updated to the five-to-nine program.

     

    While research has proven the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, Americans continue to consume inadequate amounts of these important foods. The essential vitamins and nutrients in fruits and vegetables help control blood pressure and prevent chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer.  And people who eat higher quantities of fruits and vegetables are less likely to be overweight or obese. Sadly, experts report that nearly 90 percent of Americans are not meeting the recommended intakes.

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    The "More Matters" program has several components including the juggler icon that they hope will make it easier for consumers to identify healthy products on the store shelves. The program also includes web-based tools to help you determine how many servings of fruits and vegetables you should consume daily along with recipes for how to prepare them.

     

    I think that the recipe component is the most useful part of the program because, while many people understand that fruits and vegetables provide health benefits, they only know one or two ways to prepare them. And let’s face it, eating foods prepared the same way day-after-day is boring. Having easy access to new and exciting ways to prepare fruits and vegetables encourages people to eat more of them.

     

    Some other ways to easily incorporate more  fruits and vegetables into your diet include:

    • Add banana slices or berries to your morning cereal, pancakes or waffles
    • Have a fruit smoothie for breakfast or a mid-morning snack
    • Have fruit for dessert instead of high calorie, high fat cakes, pies and cookies
    • Add banana slices to your peanut butter sandwich instead of high sugar jelly
    • Add diced vegetables to your scrammbled eggs
    • Make your own vegetable soup or add diced vegetables to your favorite canned varieties.
    • Order your pizza with lots of vegetables on top
    • Add a salad to lunch or dinner
    • Replace snack foods with fruit and vegetable slices
    • Keep canned fruits and vegetables in your cabinet so you always have them on hand
Published On: March 29, 2007