Loading Your Plate - Top Tips

Loading your plate- top tips  

We all know that fruit and vegetables are an essential part of a healthy diet, but it can be hard to know how much to have, what types or even understanding the benefits of fruits and vegetables so here are our top tips for eating enough fruit and vegetables.  
Fruits and vegetables are full of important vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, important in keeping us healthy, reducing the risk of heart disease, stroke and cancers and are also low in calories. They can come in many sources such as fresh, frozen, tinned (preferably in juice rather than syrup) or dried and all are beneficial for gaining vitamins, minerals and also fibre which is great for helping us feel fuller for longer, but portion size may vary, so what is a portion of fruit and vegetables?
It is recommended you consume a different variety of different fruit and vegetables a day, with 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day recommended in a ratio of 2 fruit and 3 vegetables.
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

A portion contains:

Small fruit – 2plums, satsumas or kiwis
Handful ofberries or cherries
1 Medium sizedfruit- banana, apple, pear or orange
Larger fruits-Half a grapefruit, slice of melon or pineapple or 2 slices of mango.
Dried fruit- 30gor tablespoon or mixed fruit, raisins/ currants. 2 figs or 3 prunes.
Tinned- 2 peachor pear halves or 6 apricot halves.
Vegetables- 80gor 3 heaped tablespoons.
150ml of fruitjuice

Unsweetened fruit juice, vegetable juice and smoothies will only ever count towards a maximum of 1 portion of your 5 a day. This is a 150ml portion. This is simply because when the fruit is blended or juiced, it releases sugars from the cells of the fruit. This releases the sugars into the bloodstream quicker and can increase risk of tooth decay, compared to whole fruits in their whole form where the sugars are contained within the structure of the fruit.  
When thinking about your fruit and vegetable intake, it can be important to know how you will reach this within your daily intake. You could try:
Fruit on top of your porridge or cereal in the morning or simply as a snack.
As for your vegetables, why not try filling your plate with vegetables first- we recommend you fill ½ your main meal plate with vegetables, ¼ carbohydrates and ¼ protein as a rough guide to ensure you are getting a variety and enough intake throughout the day.

If you would like further support with you healthy lifestyle changes, take a look at our resident's page for more information.

Main image Photo by Chantal Garnier on Unsplash

Louise Scott, Adult Weight Management Practitioner

January 4, 2021

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