The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Americans are not eating enough fruits and vegetables – and that fruit consumption is actually lower than it was ten years ago, despite an aggressive program designed to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables Americans eat. That lack of fruits and vegetables in American diets may be contributing to a variety of health problems.
Medical studies have proven that diets rich in fresh fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of cancer and other diseases, such as stroke and diabetes. In the CDC study, researchers found that no state met the federal guidelines for fruit and vegetable consumption. The government is implementing a variety of programs to help people understand how important eating these foods is to their health.
Look for more information from the government about gardening and farmer’s markets. Those involved with the study say many people, especially those with lower incomes, may be skipping fresh fruits and veggies for less healthy, but also less expensive fare. They hope these new programs will make fruits and vegetables more affordable and available to these populations. The government also plans to start educational programs so people will better understand how vital these foods are to their health and well-being, and work with schools and businesses to make these healthy foods more readily available in these environments.
Current dietary guidelines recommend that for your health, you should eat four servings of vegetables and three servings of fruit every day. If sitting down and enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables on their own does not appeal to you, dietitians recommend you incorporate these items in novel ways. Some suggestions include enjoying fruit smoothies made with low-fat yogurt, adding fruit to your morning cereal, and adding vegetables to your pasta sauce and soups. There are even cookbooks and web resources that teach you how to add fruits and vegetables into foods such as brownies and macaroni and cheese, boosting their health content.