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Heart Disease Health Center

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5-a-Day ‘Not Enough’ Fruits and Vegetables

New Research Finds 8-a-Day May Be Needed to Cut the Risk of Dying From Heart Disease

Every Portion Counts continued...

In other words, did the fruits and vegetables make people healthier, or are people who eat better also more likely to have healthier lifestyles?

Crowe says healthy eating also needs to be added to healthy lifestyle behaviors as well as other recommendations “such as not smoking, not having high blood pressure or high blood lipids [cholesterol] and being in a healthy weight range.”

Stepping up from five servings to eight servings a day might be hard, but Crowe says, “It may be a more manageable public health guideline to recommend that everyone increases their intake by one portion per day.

“This is a much more modest effect for an individual but if everyone could achieve this then at a population level the impact would be quite large.”

5-a-Day ‘Minimum’

In a statement, Victoria Taylor, senior dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, says, “The take-home message is still that eating fruit and vegetables is healthy for your heart. We need to remember to make five portions our minimum as the more fruit and vegetables people ate the lower their risk of dying from heart disease became.”

Recent research from the British Heart Foundation and the University of Oxford suggested that 15,000 lives a year could be saved if everyone ate five servings a day.

Taylor continues: “We still don’t know exactly why we see this relationship between fruit and vegetables and heart disease. It may be something in the fruit and vegetables itself, but equally it could be something in the lifestyles of people who tend to eat more fruit and vegetables. There’s still work to be done by researchers to answer these questions.”

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