Why eat fruit and vegetables?

Why eat fruit and vegetables?

March 08, 2019

Why eat fruit and vegetables?

For a healthy and sustainable diet, eat more vegetables!

More vegetables, more fruit, and more legumes. This is the mantra of modern nutrition science and, as it happens, also of environmental sustainability. Favoring a plant-based diet and reducing our consumption of animal products is good for our health and is also good for our planet as it limits the emissions that contribute to climate change and the consumption of water and land required for animal farming.

But how many fruit and vegetable products should we eat?

In recent years, all the guidelines on the subject seem to agree on the same quantities: around 2 portions of fruit and 2.5-3 portions of vegetables per day. Each portion corresponds roughly to the size of one's handful of clean and ready to consume vegetable products (equivalent to 375-400 grams of product). 

The benefits of a diet that is rich in vegetable products are manifold, including reducing cancer risk (by around 30 percent, according to a study by the EPIC, Europe's largest epidemiological study on nutrition) and lowering the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases by 22 percent (according to a large-scale study published in the medical journal The Lancet in 2017).

It is important to remember that vegetable products, especially legumes, are also a source of protein and can be consumed on a daily basis. It is equally important to dispel the myth that they cause weight gain: plant-based proteins are 31% more satiating compared to the same amount of animal protein, according to a study published on the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, thereby helping to maintain an ideal body weight.

Find out more about Food and sustainability

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