Knoxville Farmer

Five a Day Fruits & Veggies Is Enough, More ≠ Better

Five a DayA new analysis of five a day fruits and veggies in BMJ reminds us that more is not always better. The meta analysis of 16 prospective cohort studies found an incremental benefit of reduced mortality for every serving of fruits and veggies, up to five a day.

The benefit they found was a reduction in cardiovascular deaths, and not cancer deaths. Each extra serving produced a 5% reduction in mortality. But beyond five a day, they found no benefit. Frank Hu, senior author on the study said:

This analysis provides further evidence that a higher consumption of fruit and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of all-cause mortality, particularly cardiovascular mortality.

There was a threshold around five servings of fruit and vegetables a day, after which the risk of all cause mortality did not reduce further.

Another of the authors, Wei Bao, noted that typical consumption patterns fall far short of what’s needed for optimal health:

There could be debate on how much, but we should be aware that the average intake across the world is very low, far below five.

Fruits & Veggies More MattersIn recent years, the “Five a Day” campaign was updated from that original, very specific call to action and made over into the “More Matters” campaign.

Hindsight is 20/20, but we wonder if this change is so smart. More is not always better.

Click here to read the study in BMJ and click here to read more from BBC.

Knoxville Farmers’ Market, photograph © Ted Kyle

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