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Nutrition

Best Ways To Fit in Your "Five a Day"


If you're hoping to eat healthier but the thought of fitting in all those fruits and vegetables makes you overwhelmed, don't be. Some simple strategies can help you get on the way to your recommended "five a day."

One of the first things to remember when changing your eating habits to consume the recommended five servings of fruit and vegetables a day is to not be overwhelmed by the idea of five servings, according to Dr. Don Bradley, chief medical director and vice president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina. A serving is only a half cup of chopped vegetables, three-quarters of a cup of vegetable or fruit juice, or one cup of leafy greens, Bradley explained. A large tossed salad is actually several servings.

Some other strategies, Bradley said:

Try a sneak attack. Use shredded zucchini instead of bread crumbs to bind meatloaf. Add chopped veggies to spaghetti sauce, taco fillings or macaroni and cheese. Add mixed vegetables to canned vegetable soup.

Look for unexpected opportunities to use vegetables. For lunch, put last night's leftover vegetables into a pita pocket and cover them with low- or no-fat ranch dressing. Have peeled carrots always on hand for a snack.

Eat vegetables in whatever form you like — frozen, canned or fresh.


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