Why 5 Servings of Fruit & Veggies Aren’t Enough

Even if you’re a proud consumer of five servings of fruits and vegetables daily, you’re not getting enough, an extensive British study suggests. And steer clear of the canned stuff. University College London researchers reviewed the diets of 65,000 people; they found that those who ate more fresh fruits and vegetables tended to live longer, and the magic threshold seemed to be seven-plus servings every day. Those who hit that level reduced their risk of death “from all causes” by 42% as compared to those who ate less than one portion daily, the Guardian reports. More specifically, those big on fruits and veggies saw a 31% lower risk of heart disease and a 25% lower risk of cancer.

Hitting five is, of course, still beneficial: Eat three to five portions, and overall risk drops 29%, while five to seven means a 36% lower risk, Time reports. In the US, the standard slogan when it comes to fruits and vegetables is “more matters,” but the best advice is Australia’s, says a researcher; in that country, the advice is “go for 2+5,” or two servings of fruits and five of vegetables.

“From our study it looks like vegetables are better than fruit,” she says.

Be warned: Canned and frozen fruit, the study finds, may actually increase heart disease, stroke, and cancer risk, the Guardian notes. Researchers are cautious about that finding, however, suggesting it could be because canned fruit is often smothered in sugary syrup. (So eat more veggies … but maybe run less.)

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Photo credit: flickr, le living co

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Christine Jones
Christine Jones7 months ago

Makes sense; the more veggies the better, and fresh fruit isn't laden with sugary syrup so it would be healthier than canned.
However, I feel very confident eating canned or frozen veggies. They have usually been picked and packed on the same day, whereas "fresh" could have been in cold storage for months, been in a truck for days, been on the shelf for days, not to mention how many people have had their grubby mitts on them!

Janice Thompson
Janice Thompsonabout a year ago

Fresh is best!

Jessica Grieshaber

Very interesting. Other studies have shown that vegetables are also better for you than fruits because of the high sugar content (although natural) contained by fruits. Thanks for sharing this!

Linda C.
Linda C.1 years ago

This study also showed that the more fruits and vegetables one eats per day the happier one is, so there are some immediate benefits as well!

elaine lovegrove
elaine lovegrove1 years ago

It's just a case of adopting good habits, how easily we end up adopting the bad ones!

Aaron Bouchard
Aaron Bouchard1 years ago

Thank you for sharing!

Sue Matheson
Sue Matheson1 years ago


Anteater Ants
Anteater Ants1 years ago

plus a serving of ants

Vicky P.
Vicky P.1 years ago


Lynn C.
Lynn C.1 years ago