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Wednesday 19th June 2019

5-a-day 'not enough'

19th January 2011

New research has suggested that five servings of fruit and vegetables a day are no longer enough.


Researchers, who looked at the diet and lifestyles of more than 300,000 people across eight countries in Europe, say we may need eight servings to cut the risk of dying from heart disease.

The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Heart study found that people who consumed at least eight portions of fruits and vegetables a day had a 22% lower risk of dying from heart disease than those who ate three portions a day.

Every additional portion – which was counted as 80 grams of fruit or vegetable - cut the risk by 4%.

While in the UK men managed 4.1 portions and women 4.8 portions a day, Italian men enjoyed 7.5 portions a day, and Spanish women 6.7 portions.

However, study researcher Francesca Crowe from the Cancer Epidemiology Unit at the University of Oxford, said: “We do need to be cautious in our interpretation of these findings as participants with a higher intake of fruits and vegetables tended to be slightly healthier overall.

“So we are unable to say whether the association between fruits and vegetables and heart disease is causal.”

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

BHF senior dietician Victoria Taylor said: “The take-home message is still that eating fruit and vegetables is healthy for your heart.”


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