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When it comes to fruit and vegetables, you've probably heard about five-a-day serving, but what it actually means? If we know we should be eating them, why are we still unhealthy, and how to make healthy eating a habit?

In order to keep our blood counts healthy, we must eat in a certain way. Healthy eating means well-balanced and varied diet with a lot of fruit and vegetables, since they play the most important role in preserving good health. Five-a-day rule has been around for quite some time. Eating 80g is considered to be enough for adults, so if you eat 7 strawberries, 11 Brussels sprouts, add a tomato, half of the red bell pepper and onion with lunch — you're done for the day. Unless of course you want even more nutrients, then you can consume as much as you like, the more the better. This five a day thing is here only to move and motivate.

Everyone seems to have heard of the rule, so why are we as a society so unhealthy even though we know how important diversity is?

Wherever you turn your head at supermarkets, there are labels saying how many of the recommended amount each product meets. It looks and sounds so easy, but it's different in reality. Ninety-one percent of children and adolescents from ages 6 to 18 consume so much harmful fats and sugars that it directly effects their physical health. Fifty-one percent of children eat less than one serving of fruits and vegetables per day. Shockingly, one in six children thinks that a blueberry muffin counts as a portion of fruit. Even seventy percent of UK adults don't meet the required minimum.

The serving minimum has been around since 2003 in Britain, and for almost 30 years in the USA. Governments tried to make healthy eating as easy as counting fingers, but people found even this too hard to attain, so they started counting cartons of juice and processed vegetables like tomato sauce among the daily five. These can be high in sugar/fat, and shouldn't be counted. Retailers mark these products as one of a five-a-day because they're higher on a profit margin. Healthy options like fresh apples are cheaper too, and hence rarely labeled. Unfortunately, labeling became business and common people are once again suffering due to someone's greed.

What Doesn't Count As A Serving

You'll probably immediately guess which vegetable can't be part of our 5-a day? Yes — all time favorite — potatoes. Even though it's a veggie and amazing source of energy, potato can't be counted because its main ingredient is starch, which puts spuds in the same group with bread and rice. Fruity doughnuts and pies don't count either — having that apple pie or blueberry muffin won't contribute to your health for the better.

Count only real food, and by this we mean whole fruits and veggies. Eating the recommended daily amount is really not that hard. To get most out of your diet, make sure to pick a wide variety of colors.
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