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The Platitidinous Plant

By Mary_RD on Mar 02, 2009 01:00 PM in Dieting & You
Edited By +Rachel Berman

Certain foods are super-good for maintaining the health of your heart. 

For National Heart Month, the American Heart Association published a list of foods that conferred heart-health benefits in research studies.  Every food on the list is of plant origin (except for fish.)  Those super-good foods are:

- Beans, peas and barley
- Soybeans, other soy-based foods (not soybean oil)
- Fruits and vegetables
- Salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel
- Red grapes and purple grape juice
- Nuts such as almonds, walnuts and pecans
- Green or black tea
- Onions, scallions, shallots, garlic and leeks

Americans don’t eat enough plants

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you are aware that the US Government has been persuading us to eat more produce for the past 18 years.  All adults are supposed to eat 5-servings of fruit and/or vegetables per day, and  that amount is minimal, not optimal. 

But no one is listening, according to the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES).  Less than 1% of adolescents, 2% of men, and only 3.5% of women meet the 5-a-Day guidelines, even when jam, jelly, orange juice, French fries, and ketchup is counted as produce!  How can so many people be so far off the mark?   No wonder why heart disease is the most likely reason why people die.

What’s your excuse?

Most of the food on the AHA list does not require cooking.  Grapes, nuts, tea, tuna: down the hatch!   Pour beans out of the can and rinse off the salty water.  Eat a vegetarian meal one or two times (or more) per a week.  In fact, this week, take the single step to prepare a dish that features beans - and let us know how it works out.

Your thoughts....
Do you eat enough plants?  What's your excuse?




excellent advice.

"No wonder why heart disease is most the likely reason why people die."

I think this sentence is supposed to be "No wonder why heart disease is THE most the likely reason why people die."

Great article :)

Half of every meal I eat (by volume, not weight) must be a veggie. Leafy greens don't count because they take up so much space and I'm not really that fond of most fruits. If a "serving" is still the portion of food that fits on my palm, then I'm eating at least 6+ servings of veggies a day.

Sadly, eating fresh produce at this rate is ridiculously expensive.

- Sunny


Sunnyhikes said: "Sadly, eating fresh produce at this rate is ridiculously expensive."

I have to agree -- and this presents one of the major nutrional stumbling blocks for lower-income families.

I mostly get my five a day or more -- but I'm a tomato junkie.  When I don't, it's usually because I've become seriously disorganized and been reduced to eating tinned soup for lunch.

I'm a vegetarian, all I eat are veggies! I am lucky to live right next to this awesume international market that sells all vegies inexpensively:-) Fruits, vegs, grains, legumes, you name it I eat it in surplus!

If the federal government came clean about the dangers of too much animal protein in our diet-the country would have no choice but to eat more fruits and veggies.

And, yes, it is expensive, but not so much if you reduce or eliminate buying meat and expensive dairy.

Upping your intake is great -but at the same time -I believe you need to largely decrease the amount of meat and dairy and that is where the confusion lies with most Americans.

They think-I eat a ton of veggies-so I'm good-but what else are they eating? A gigantic slab of prime rib!

Original Post by: nasuoni

"No wonder why heart disease is most the likely reason why people die."

I think this sentence is supposed to be "No wonder why heart disease is THE most the likely reason why people die."

Great article :)

i think that it should be "no wonder why heart disease is the most likely reason why preople die

Such positive reviews of this article yet the general reaction when I tell someone for the first time that I am vegan I get a look of disgust, disbelief and questions about whether it is actually healthy.

It is I promise.

Comment Removed

These past few years, I was closer to eating 5 a MONTH than five a day. I'm pretty sure I've gone a couple of months without eating a single fruit... My diet consisted mostly of pasta...The thing is, you can buy a week's worth of pasta for cheaper than a day's worth of vegetables...and it takes a fraction of the time to cook. And has anyone else noticed how tasteless fruit is in the UK? Since starting CC last month though, I am much more aware of what I eat and what nutrients I get from them. I eat vegetables every day, sometimes twice a day, and fruits at least once a week (lol, doesn't sound like much but it's a big improvement!). But I have a lot of spare time at the moment. I wonder how things will be when I start university...

Grow your own veggies. It is very easy and much tastier (and cheaper)

Growing your own! now THAT IS a project! a good one, but jeez, just eating better is hard! Easiest to grow tho, if you really want to, and can be in any size space, including containers, as far north as middle Canada........zucchini/courgette, squash, raspberries, Jerusalem artichokes, lettuce and herbs. And there is nothing like fresh parsley or rosemary or lettuce.

The writer above got it right when they said that it may be expensive to eat fruit and veg, esp. out of season, but FOR SURE if you also reduce meat and dairy, it will not be any more expensive. Try farmers markets for best prices.

You have The in there twice.


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