SEVEN SIMPLE WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH AND ENHANCE YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE
EAT BETTER GET ACTIVE LOSE WEIGHT QUIT SMOKING REDUCE
oloring the plate every day with one
more cup of fruits and vegetables is the
rallying cry of +color, a new American
Heart Association initiative to encourage
Americans to eat healthier.
“If you’re trying to achieve and maintain a healthy
weight, fruits and vegetables can help fill you up,” said
Rachel Johnson, Ph.D., R.D., a professor of nutrition at
the University of Vermont and past chair of the AHA’s
nutrition committee. “It’s almost impossible to overeat
Three out of four Americans do not eat enough healthy
foods such as fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and healthy
oils. Unhealthy eating contributes to chronic diseases
such as heart disease and diet-related risk factors such
as Type 2 diabetes and obesity.
An extra cup of fruits and vegetables a day can help
people reach the recommended two cups of fruit and
two-and-a-half cups of vegetables, according to the AHA.
“One cup every day extra for the next 20 years, that’s
a whole lot of nutrition,” said Lanette Kovachi, R.D.N.,
head global dietitian for +color sponsor Subway.
Despite the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables,
price and a lack of familiarity may limit their consumption,
Johnson said. Low-nutrient junk food tends to be cheaper
than fresh fruits and vegetables, so cost may be a
perceived barrier for a family with limited resources. And
people may be unwilling to try fruits or vegetables they’re
unfamiliar with. “It may take time” to like a new food,
She suggests buying frozen fruits and vegetables,
“which may be cheaper and you can store them longer.”
Shopping for sales and shopping seasonally also helps,
Unfortunately, those with the most to gain from years
of good nutrition aren’t getting it: 14- to 18-year-old girls
are eating the least amount of fruit and vegetables on
average, according to federal dietary guidelines. Boys
ages 9 to 13 eat the least amount of vegetables.
More people are trying to up their fruits and
vegetables, said Kovachi, but “there’s a lot more work to
be done. We’re motivating people to get there and giving
them an easy opportunity to get plenty of veggies.”
To sweeten the cup-a-day fruit and vegetable
challenge, the AHA will provide a series of videos, social
media events and interactive digital information.
Colorful foods add visual appeal to the plate, but also
“punch up” the nutritional value, Kovachi said. “Highly
Get Healthier One
Cup at a Time