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Sunday 7 April 2019

Do you need to eat fruits and vegetables?

As regular readers will know, Franziska Spritzler RD (Low Carb Dietitian) is often featured on this blog. She has recently written quite a long article about fruits and vegetables, it is on Diet Doctor site, and I have copied a little of it here:

"“Eat your fruits and vegetables!” You’ve probably heard that nagging scold more often than any other nutritional advice — not only from your mother but from doctors, health organizations, and governments over the last four decades.

Upping your fruit and veggie consumption has been recommended so often, for so long, as the best way to live longer, healthier lives, that to question that rationale seems very controversial.

But how many fruits and vegetables do we really need to eat? Might we perhaps be better off eating fewer of them than recommended? More provocatively, do we actually need any at all? In a world where fruit bowls and green smoothies are seen as virtuous and bacon is viewed as sinful, it may seem difficult to even consider these possibilities. 

Yes, there’s been a lot of research on the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, but is it rigorous enough to recommend a standard minimum daily intake for both healthy people and those with medical issues? Read on to learn where the scientific evidence currently stands on fruits and vegetables.

What are fruits? 
Fruits are the seed-containing portion of various flowering plants. They grow exclusively above ground.
Different types of fruit
The broad categories of fruit include pome, citrus, tropical, melons, stone fruits and berries. Most fruits taste sweet, although citrus varieties are often sour or bitter. With the exception of bananas, fruits are juicy due to their high water content.
Nutritional composition of fruits

Nearly all of the calories in fruit come from sugar — not surprising, given their sweet taste. Their net carb counts span a large range: 5 grams to 20 grams of carbs per 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of fruit, depending on the type. A single juicy, mid-sized orange would have about 12 grams of carbs and a banana at least 23 grams. 

Reviewing the nutrition profiles of different fruits, we see that several are good sources of vitamin C and a few minerals. However, the actual nutrient content can vary depending on the type of fruit, how and where it’s grown and stored, and how long it’s been sitting at a stand or grocery shelf. In addition, all fruits fall short in key minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. 

Low-carb fruits and berries, read more about the best and the worst here

What are vegetables?
Speaking from a botanical or gardening point of view, vegetables are the leaves, stems or roots of plants. However, many non-sweet fruits are commonly considered vegetables for eating or cooking purposes.

Different types of vegetables
Vegetables can be broadly classified into four categories:

1. Above-ground vegetables: greens (spinach, lettuce, chard, etcetera), cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale, et cetera), bulbs (onions, garlic) and fungi (mushrooms). 

2. Below-ground/root/starchy vegetables: beets, carrots, parsnips, rutabagas, turnip, yams, potatoes, sweet potatoes etc. 

3. Gourds: pumpkins, hard-shelled squashes and other winter squashes. 

4. Technically fruits but treated like vegetables: avocados, olives, bell peppers, eggplant, tomatoes and zucchini. Unlike other fruits, these aren’t sweet and are often prepared and consumed with other vegetables. Avocados and olives are unique among fruits and vegetables because most of their calories come from fat rather than sugar or starch.

Nutritional composition of vegetables
Above-ground vegetables are keto-friendly foods that provide 5 or fewer grams of net carbs per 100-gram (3.5-ounce) serving. Not so for the root and starchy vegetables, however, which range from 6 to 17 grams of net carbs per serving. Vegetables usually contain moderate to high amounts of fibre, especially avocado — which also happens to be among the lowest in net carbs. 

Overall, vegetables are more nutrient-dense than fruits, although their vitamin and mineral content can also be affected by factors like growing and storage conditions. Most veggies are good to excellent sources of potassium, and bell peppers and cruciferous vegetables are also high in vitamin C. 

Low-carb vegetables – read more about the best and the worst here

The above is only a snippet of the original article.

Franziska also writes about :
How many fruits and vegetables should people eat per day?
Research on the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables.
Modern-day fruits: larger, sweeter and widely available.
Can eating fruits and vegetables cause health problems in some people?
Will a diet devoid of fruits and vegetables lead to nutrient deficiencies? 

She also includes a summary – fruits and vegetables:
Optional, optimal, or essential?"

Why not go over and read more, please use this link here

I wonder, please share what is your most favourite fruit and vegetable? I find it hard just to choose one … for instance I like all the vegetables shown in the picture above!

Thanks for reading.

All the best Jan


Valerie-Jael said...

I like nearly all fruits and veggies. Valerie

Tom said...

...thinking is always changing.

PerthDailyPhoto said...

Yup I'm the same Jan, all fruit in season, most veges except of course possibly the most healthy veg of all.. kale, I can't find a way to make that palatable at all, any ideas 😉

JFM said...

We do in our family...everyday~

Steve Perker, M.D. said...

I've been reading Franziska's material for years. You can trust her.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Since I'm a vegetarian, I like all fruits and veggies. Some are better for me than others, but I have to say that avocados are my favorite, hands down. Too bad they are so expensive where I live.

Christine said...

Thanks for this great information!

Jordi López Pérez said...

Excelente, Lección! Un saludo.

Out on the prairie said...

Peach is one of my favs along with mangos. I like to grill both fruit and veggies

Elephant's Child said...

Favourite fruit is probably a mango. Or berries. Or stonefruit. My favourite vegetable changes with the season but I cannot face brussel sprouts (probably because my mother cooked them until they were grey and soft).

DUTA said...

Besides eating them in raw form. I also slightly cook two dishes: one made of some six vegetables, the other made of some six fruit including kivi and grapefruit which gives it an acid taste.

I don't add anything except the water as they have everything: sugar, oil(onion has oil), mineral salts.
This is the nutritional basis. If someone has a health issue, he needs the active ingredient to be found in supplements such as garlic extract, grape seed extract etc... Eating veggies and fruit alone won't help him with the issue.

Chris Lally said...

Great information. A great public service, Jan!
Thank you!!

Martha said...

Such great information! I love fruits and vegetables. It is hard to choose just one in each category. It all depends on how I use it (eat it raw, in a soup, stir-fry, etc.)

Miss Val's Creations said...

I have too many favorite fruits and vegetables too! I do find them a must for my diet and no longer need multi vitamins since I eat such a diversity.

Victor S E Moubarak said...

It's late ... and this post has made me hungry again.

God bless.

Barb said...

Since we eat plant based with some fish, we eat a variety of daily vegetables and fruit. Some cruciferous vegetables show promise with fighting cancer cells in the body. All fibrous fruits and veggies help with cholesterol and triglycerides. Tonight we had a vegetable stir fry and a fruit salad on arugula. Vegetables are especially filling - I’m never hungry.

Lorrie said...

That's a provocative question to start your post. I like almost all vegetables and fruits, but I prefer vegetables to fruits.

Margaret D said...

Interesting read.
We eat a fair few veggies in this house.

dellgirl said...

No favorites here, I like ALL fruits and vegetables. So far, I have not found one from either group that I didn't like. This is very informative, thank you for sharing this.

Iris Flavia said...

Hard to decide. Brussels Sprouts sure come to mind :-)
Cauliflower. Broccoli... hmmm, guess it´s veggies rather than fruit for me.

Natalia said...

Love all veggies abd fruits, I eat a lot everyday, so healthy and yummy☺ Now we are introducing some veggies to my toddler, today is squash, hope he approves☺ Thanks for visiting my blog, I am following, greetings from Poland☺

Teresa said...

Las frutas y verduras son muy buenas. Un beso.

happyone said...

Excellent article about fruits and vegetables.
Though it is hard to pick one favorite here are some that I like most.
Peppers, carrots, beans, strawberries, blueberries, apples.
I really like rhubarb and zucchini too.

Sami said...

I like all vegetables, my favourite would be pumpkin (grilled).
As for fruits I no longer eat too many, I eat mainly berries, but can't avoid eating a few figs and mangoes from our garden - sugar heavy I know, but it's just a few a year.

Thickethouse.wordpress said...

I love so many vegetables! I couldn't choose if saying yes to one meant no to any others....For fruit, I eat berries and cherries when they are on the tree and would eat peaches if there were any good ones around any more. Maybe I like things in the cabbage family a bit more than others, but only a bit.

eileeninmd said...

Hello, I love most veggies and fruits. I am trying a fodmap diet so I need to leave out some of my favorite veggies and fruits. Diets are not fun!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

This is such great information! I like most fruits and veggies. I LOVE broccoli just lighting steamed with cheese on top! And Florida strawberries are in season right now so they are my fav!

Debbie said...

what an excellent read, lots of great information. i never use to like cooked vegetables, my mom always used canned and i grew to dislike all vegetables. now that i am older, i love cooked "fresh" vegetables. and with the meal plan kits i have been receiving, i have learned how to cook them in ways that make them really delicious!!

i really enjoy all fruits, i wish they stayed fresh longer. when i go to the farm market i want everything but the fruits don't last long enough, i have to be careful how much i buy!!!

William Kendall said...

Most fruits and vegetables I go for.

sandy said...

Interesting - ... I eat way more veggies than fruit - and probably way too much spinach - but I love it in salads.

baili said...

outstanding post dear Jan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i would definitely read the article though

i like to have fruits which are less sweet because taking them regularly can increase the sugar level

Magic Love Crow said...

Thanks for this post Jan!

italiafinlandia said...

I try to eat fruits and vegetables as much as I can...
Thanks for your info.

carol l mckenna said...

Informative post on fruits and vegetables ~

Happy Days to you,
A ShutterBug Explores,
aka (A Creative Harbor)

Snowbird said...

I love most veggies but don't often eat fruit, I only really like blueberries and

Conniecrafter said...

It is amazing to me how some fruits and vegetables are actually the other, like I never thought of green peppers as being fruit, now I think I may have more fruit than vegetables