In the second column of the year for Cost Sector Catering magazine our Registered Dietitian Ruth Smith looks at fruit and vegetable consumption targets.
See the full article below or view online in the April edition here.
Fruit and vegetable target review
Anglia Crown’s company Dietitian, Ruth Smith, considers the impact of additional nutritional targets
According to a recent study by Imperial College London, around 7.8 million premature deaths could be prevented each year if the general public increased their fruit and vegetable intake from five to 10 portions per day. This figure is certainly impressive, however, at present only one in three people in the UK are thought to be meeting the current target, so perhaps this is slightly ambitious.
While this may not be a realistic target for the majority of us, the research did confirm that the more fruit and vegetables we eat each day, the more health benefits and protection we get, particularly when it comes to cardiovascular disease and cancers. A good variety of different coloured fruit and vegetables is important to provide the best combination of protective antioxidants.
At Anglia Crown, we help customers comply with the current advice in several ways to ensure patients are provided with a nutritious meal to support them in their recovery. We offer a wide selection of 17 vegetable sides to accompany main dishes, with chilled and frozen options available in a variety of pack sizes. These options are suitable for most allergy diets and cover a range of different therapeutic dietary requirements, such as healthier eating, higher energy and softer diets.
We also publish how many portions of fruit and vegetables each dish provides to enable customers to calculate the number of portions their menu provides to patients.
Our range includes a varied selection of vegetarian and vegan meals, while our soups also provide a great comforting meal packed full of vegetables.
In addition, we offer a range of fresh salads daily and a variety of fruit-based desserts, which can also help increase a patient’s fruit and vegetable intake throughout the day.
Frozen vegetables offer a number of benefits to a patient in terms of their nutritional value.
We help hospitals meet the differing nutritious needs of patients with a variety of meal solutions for a range of tastes, preferences and budgets.
Five-a-day forms the foundation of a balanced diet, which is an important part of good health for everyone. The important thing is that people do not become put off by a figure that seems too ambitious. If anything, this research may help us, as a nation, to gradually increase our uptake to get to the recommended five figure.
Ruth Smith is a Registered Dietitian and works for award-winning prepared meal manufacturer Anglia Crown. She is also secretary for the Food Services Specialist Group of the British Dietetic Association (BDA).