So, I put a brief post on my Facebook and Twitter personal training pages a couple of weeks ago regarding the news that 10 portions of fruit and vegetables a day would be more beneficial than the previously thought 5 a day, and I wanted to expand.
What prompted me to comment about this particular piece of health news was a specific comment from the Chief Nutritionist for Public Health England, Dr Allison Tedstone. Here is the quote:
“Whilst consuming more than five portions of fruit and vegetables a day may be desirable…adding pressure to consume more fruit and vegetables creates an unrealistic expectation.”
Firstly, how the hell is it unrealistic to consume more fruit and vegetables? And secondly, why is the Chief Nutritionist at Public Health England immediately giving people an excuse and a reason not to even try?! In my social media post I mentioned how it is totally realistic to increase our intake of fruit and vegetables. Replace processed food for fresh food three meals a day plus any snacks and, as if by magic, you have 10 a day and more! Now, even if you’re aiming for the ten portions a day but only replace a couple of meals and a snack for example, you’ll still be eating a lot healthier and still be closer to ten portions a day than five.
“Shoot for the moon and if you miss you will still be among the stars” Les Brown.
I totally disagree that it adds pressure and an unrealistic expectation and even if it did create pressure and expectation why is that a bad thing? Let’s get one thing straight, food is medicine! There are more and more people becoming ill with long term diseases as a result of poor lifestyle choices. One thing that is within our own doing is improving our health. Instead of expecting the NHS to pick up the pieces, someone else to wave a magic wand or someone to start selling an allegedly miracle pill, we need to take responsibility for our own health. Our health. Our responsibility. So, the more pressure and expectation to eat foods that heal us and improve our health the better. Not a message from a Chief Nutritionist immediately absolving people of any responsibility for their own health. As you can probably tell her comments wound me up a little bit.
Fruit intake and Fat Loss
Moving on from the nonsense of a comment I want to discuss briefly something I talk about regularly with my clients, specifically around fruit and vegetables and fat loss/weight loss. I don’t believe there is such thing as a bad fruit but when it comes to fat loss we do need to be mindful of the amount of fruit we consume. Why? I hear you ask. Fruit contains sugar, some fruits contain more than others. Ultimately when looking for good fat loss results and overall health, we want to reduce the amount of sugar we consume. One thing I often hear is ‘but it’s naturally occurring sugars’. Your body doesn’t separate man made sugar and naturally occurring sugar. Sugar from any source has the same response on the body when it comes to insulin response, blood sugar levels and that sugar being stored as fat. So if you’re goal is fat loss limit the higher sugar fruits and opt for plenty of above ground less starchy vegetables. Some fruits that are lower in sugar but still contain important vitamins and minerals are raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. Some fruits high in sugar are grapes and oranges.
To conclude, it’s your health, your responsibility. Take control, take responsibility and shoot for the moon when it comes to your intake of fresh food!
Any questions feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org You can click on the link below to the article in which the quote was taken from.
Eat Well. Move Well. Live Well.