how much fruit and vegetables should you be eating?

We all know that we should be eating at least 5 portions of fruit, vegetables and salad each day. However, most of us fall woefully short of this target. I certainly see evidence of this in my clinic after reviewing thousands of food diaries for the clients. A large number of people do not hit this target on a daily basis. I know that I can sometimes struggle if I have had a busy day and am out and about eating on the go.

In fact Government statistics show that only 31% of adults eat the full five portions....so quite a lot don't then!

If we break this down a bit further my advice is to stick to two portions of low glycaemic index fruit (apple, pear, berries, soft fruit, citrus) a day and no more. The rest should be made up of vegetables and salad, at least 3 additional portions, preferably even more.  

So just what is a portion size? — not such a stupid question and certainly one I get asked a lot. One portion is equivalent to a cup. That is around the size of an English teacup (the old fashioned sort with a saucer not a mug) or a standard American measuring cup. Here are some great infographics from Chow.com to illustrate:


Note that potatoes do not count towards this total. Fruit juice, no matter how much you drink (hopefully not too much) will only count for one portion.