The surprising dishes that DO count towards your 5-a-day – including PIZZA
- Survey data shows that three out of four Britons are falling short of the five-a-day target
- One in five did not reach the target once in the past year
The advice to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables every day has been spread since the 1990s.
Yet 95 per cent of Brits don’t realize that pizza counts as one of our recommended five servings.
And six out of ten don’t know that beans on toast are even allowed.
That is, according to a poll that found a lack of understanding about what qualifies and how much to eat is as much to blame as the cost of food.
The survey, conducted by Gousto, a manufacturer of recipe packs, also found that three in four Britons fail to meet the target – with an aversion to vegetables in favor of high-carb foods such as chips, potatoes and pasta, another excuse .
The survey, conducted by Gousto, a manufacturer of recipe packs, also found that three in four Britons fail to meet the target – with an aversion to vegetables in favor of high-carb foods such as chips, potatoes and pasta, another excuse
Only one in 20 knew that just the base sauce as a topping on pizza counts as a serving of five a day, with the option of extra credit if other vegetables are added on top with the choice of pizza.
Six out of 10 also didn’t think baked beans should be allowed, if they can – so even a breakfast baked dish can get someone checked off.
However, one in four people mistakenly thought nuts count, and 37 percent of those surveyed in Gousto’s survey mistakenly thought potatoes qualify.
The survey also found that 22 percent of people admit they failed to reach their five on any day in the past year.
In another misunderstanding, 56 percent didn’t count the sweet potatoes, which could be considered one of the five.
The main barrier cited for failing to meet the daily recommendation was cost — cited by 36 percent — amid the current cost-of-living crisis.
But one in three just didn’t know what counts or doesn’t count, and four in five wondered how much they would have to eat to make a serving.
But a shocking 48 percent of those surveyed admitted they hadn’t even managed to meet the recommended intake in the past month.
Nutritionist Ellie Bain said: ‘People say their main health goal is to eat more vegetables, but it’s not that simple.
‘Different colors of fruit and vegetables have different health benefits. This is because the colors are created by their fiber, antioxidant, vitamin and mineral content.
“It’s not recommended for nothing that we eat five fruits and vegetables a day – they provide a range of health benefits through weight control and a reduced risk of disease.”
While pizza and chips may tick some off, if you rely on them too regularly, the weight may not stay off.
Just over half of those surveyed who ate their five also thought it made them feel healthier, the survey found.
The five a day goal was introduced in the US in 1990 and in the UK in 2003.
There is overwhelming evidence of the health benefits of eating more fruit and vegetables – and in recent years many scientists have argued that the guideline should be increased from five to seven or even ten servings per day.
WHAT SHOULD A BALANCED DIET LOOK LIKE?
Meals should be based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, ideally whole grains, according to the NHS
• Eat at least five servings of different fruits and vegetables every day. All fresh, frozen, dried and canned fruit and vegetables count
• Basic meals based on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates, preferably whole grains
• 30 grams of fiber per day: This is equivalent to eating all of the following: five servings of fruits and vegetables, two whole-wheat muesli biscuits, two thick slices of whole-wheat bread, and a large baked potato with skin
• Provide some dairy or dairy alternatives (such as soy drinks), opt for options with less fat and less sugar
• Eat some beans, legumes, fish, eggs, meat and other proteins (including two servings of fish per week, one of which is fatty)
• Choose unsaturated oils and spreads and consume in small quantities
• Drink six to eight cups/glasses of water per day
• Adults should have less than 6 g of salt and 20 g of saturated fat for women or 30 g for men per day
Source: NHS Eatwell Guide