Diet benefits from fruits and vegetables

July 25, 2006

The U.S. government wants people to eat more fruits and vegetables, noting that health benefits can be derived from such a diet regimen.

Under its new program, the Agriculture Department will replace the old "5 A Day" slogan calling for consumption of five servings of fruit or veggies a day with new guidelines under the message, "Fruits and Veggies -- More Matters," reports the Wall Street Journal.

The new message comes from a revamping of the government's food pyramid. The guidelines will include specific amounts of produce, measured in cups, rather than the vague "servings." And they will vary by age, sex and level of activity for everyone over the age of two.

A 40-year-old woman would be asked to eat 2.5 cups of vegetables and 1.5 cups of fruit daily if she exercises less than 30 minutes a day -- more if she is more active. A 65-year-old man who exercises less than 30 minutes a day should eat 2.5 cups of vegetables and two cups of fruit, the Journal said.

The new guidelines are published jointly by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Agriculture.

People can calculate their individual needs at www.mypyramid.gov

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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