Sorry, this is another post about diet - I'm a little obsessed at the moment. I'm still thinking about the government advice to get five portions of fruit and veg per day, with a portion being 80 g, or about 3 oz. Let's look at what I ate yesterday.
I started with my usual breakfast of muesli, made up of porridge oats, fruit and a few nuts. I'm not sure whether oats count - they are a grain, not a vegetable - but I have about 70 g, so that's almost a portion if they do count. I had a small handful of raspberries from the garden - about an ounce, so nowhere near a portion.
For lunch, I had a salad of peas fresh from the garden with some marsh samphire that I picked the other day, plus a few herbs with an oil and vinegar dressing. Because I'm keeping track of what I harvest from the garden, I weighed the peas: 2 oz, so rather less than a portion. I didn't weigh the samphire, but I doubt it was an ounce. Between them, barely one portion. I also had a little polenta, because I'm experimenting with alternatives to bread.>
Dinner was a big heap of cheesy mashed potatoes with chard. I harvested 10 ½ oz potatoes, but they got mixed up with the ones in the cupboard so I'm not sure how many I actually ate. It could have been as much as 9 oz. Whether that counts as three portions or not is contentious. Officially, potatoes don't count, but I heard an interview with someone involved in issuing the advice, who said this was mainly because they were worried that people would just eat lots of chips and think that was healthy. It's sad that such a lack of common sense is assumed, and also sad that they were probably right. The chard was 2 ½ oz - barely a portion - and I had a glass of tomato juice, which also counts as one.
Counting strictly, I had barely one portion of veg at lunch and barely two at dinner, including the juice. That's somewhat short of three. If I include the potatoes and oats I get to seven, a target supported by recent research. The thing is, this is pretty much everything I ate yesterday, and it all looks healthy to me. The only other foods I had in any quantity were dairy: Cheese, probably about three ounces, and half a pint or so of milk. If I didn't count the potatoes, as advised, how would I get to my five portions?
I found the following on the NHS website:
Having a sliced banana with your morning cereal is a quick way to get one portion. Swap your mid-morning biscuit for a tangerine, and add a side salad to your lunch. Have a portion of vegetables with dinner, and snack on dried fruit in the evening to reach your five a day.That suggestion adds two snacks to my usual meal plan, and both are fruit, so relatively high in sugar. That doesn't sound like an ideal adjustment to my diet.
I'm curious - do you monitor your fruit and veg intake, and if so do you get five a day? How?