According to the food pyramid I am supposed to eat 3-5 servings of vegetables and 2-4 servings of fruit a day. Presently I am not in compliance with the pyramid. I barely have time to eat breakfast and lunch on most days, let alone plot inclusion of vegetable and fruits at every turn.
My one saving grace is my daily V-8 which counts as two servings of vegetables, but that is complicated by the sodium issues (and yes, I know they have a low sodium version, but it just doesn’t taste the same). I am fine with my salty V8 as a positive vegetable step but others question its qualification as a true vegetable serving given its drawbacks. I want to improve in this area as I know vegetables and fruit are important to maintaining one’s health, but I have some questions on this front regarding what actually qualifies.
The pyramid doesn’t give you anything but basic information, but my food choices beyond the produce aisle at the grocery store can be more complex. Not all things come with a label to tell you how many servings you are getting. Also, can you do all your servings at the same time and just get it over with? That makes sense to me from a utilitarian approach.
I like to do the right things – healthy things – but I need some help. I have questions about what counts and what doesn’t. I am hoping someone out there who understands all the complexities of these choices can answer some questions for me.
Does an order of onion rings count as one vegetable serving?
Is banana bread a fruit or a grain serving?
How much salsa do you need to eat with your chips to count as one vegetable serving?
Does a big slice of peach pie serve as two fruit servings?
When I eat pasta with a tomato-based sauce can I count that as a vegetable serving?
Is that little bowl of applesauce they give you at Perkins considered one fruit serving?
Raspberry vinaigrette dressing on a spinach salad – a fruit and vegetable serving?
How many McDonald’s apple pies do you need for one fruit serving (I am guessing two as they are two for a dollar)?
Do fruit loops have any real fruit in them?
If I eat a Taco John’s beef and potato burrito do the tater tots in the burrito count as a vegetable serving?
How about the lettuce and tomatoes in tacos at Taco Bell does that count as two vegetable servings?
Strawberry jam on toast – a fruit and a grain?
What about vegetable wraps…how many servings of vegetable do those count as?
How many jalapeño peppers do you need for one vegetable serving?
I surmise I could go on forever with this list. There simply is not enough guidance in this area beyond the basic apple, banana or salad. Don’t the pyramid folks know that the world is more complex than that? I know they reworked the pyramid recommendations a few years back, but they didn’t offer any new insight on the questions that plague me.
If anyone out there can help clear this up for me I would truly appreciate it. As for me, it is time for breakfast. I think I will stir in a healthy serving of strawberry jam into my oatmeal this morning – that has to count for something right?
Day seventy-three of the new forty – obla di obla da