Women on Healthy Eating Guidelines: How Are We Stacking Up?

Beth Battaglino, RNAccording to a recent New York Times article, Americans consume about a quarter of the government's recommended allowance of fruits and vegetables. We were intrigued by this statistic and polled our HealthyWomen readers to see where they stacked up. The results surprised us: more than three-quarters of respondents don't meet the daily standard. Forty-two percent of respondents reported consuming 0-2 servings a day, followed by 40 percent who consume 3-5 servings a day.

These stats raise the question: how can we encourage women to up their fruit and veggie intake?

To help women find new ways to get the recommended daily allowance, we looked at the wealth of information available to find tips that will help women add fruits and veggies to their daily diets—from including a small salad before or after dinner to making sure that every meal and snack has a plant-based component.

No one doubts the benefits of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables: They can help reduce the risk of stroke, cancer and other chronic diseases. Plus, eating more produce increases the likelihood of getting the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants your body needs—and may reduce the amount of saturated fat and sugar you eat. The hard part is figuring out how to eat a healthy, balanced diet in our busy world.

We also took the question to our HealthyWomen Community, where women are offering their personal tips and tricks for how they get their eight servings a day. They've shared inspiring ideas such as sautéing spinach with scrambled eggs, popping greens into a breakfast smoothie and cutting up fresh veggies when you get home from the store so they're handy and ready to eat.

The HealthyWomen Community connects women with each other and with health care professionals to find ideas and support for eating well, making better food choices and feeling motivated and empowered about their health. It also allows us to keep our finger on the pulse of what women need, what health topics are buzz-worthy and more importantly, what resources we can provide them to help them make informed health decisions.
 
This is the reason we come to work every day, and why, if we do our job well, the next time we poll our readers those numbers will reflect a positive change.

In good health,
Beth Battaglino

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