Rhona McDade | Contributing Writer | Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Science Says 3 Fruit And Veg A Day Is Enough

Science Says 3 Fruit And Veg A Day Is Enough

The Debrief: Everything we know is a lie!

It’s hard to research anything about diet and nutrition without being punched in the face repeatedly with the ‘five-a-day’ mantra. This time-honoured sanction was first suggested by the World Health Organisation and is used to encouraged the consumption of at least five portions of fruit of vegetables each day, and has now become so ubiquitous that it’s taken on a life of its own. To some extent I do feel the campaign has been successful. From personal experiences of guilt as I pop the last of a KitKat chunky into my gob at 5:55pm to blending freak shakes of any fruit/veg I can get my hands on; the healthy ethos/guilt complex ingrained into me as a child has remained throughout my early adulthood. 

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New findings collected from a major international study show that in terms of life expectancy, there are no extra benefits to be gained from increasing fruit and veg consumption from three to five a day. For 15 years the NHS has endorsed this, quite frankly impracticable task, and with three quarters of people in Britain failing to hit the target, a change in approach is definitely needed. Plus, fruit and veg is expensive! Your daily guac-stop is no cheap affair and with prices of imported fruit and veg expected to rise by 8% post Brexit, it doesn’t look like things are getting any better. 

Researcher Dr Andrew Mente, presenting the study at the European Society of Cardiology congress in Barcelona, said: 'Our findings indicate that optimal health benefits can be achieved with a more modest level of consumption, an approach that is likely to be much more affordable’. Dr Mente also stated the best gains were associated with eating vegetables raw, rather than cooking them. When participants included raw vegetables in their intake, death rates fell by almost a third. Kimchi come at me!

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