Less than a year ago, Bryan Silbermann, the President and CEO of the Produce Marketing Association, made a bold statement at the Foodservice conference I attended. He set a goal to double the use of fresh produce in the foodservice industry by 2020. It seems as if American consumers are making strides to increase their fruit and vegetable consumption as well.
According to the study “Making Effective Nutrition Choices” published by the American Journal of Public Health, online programs may help boost fruit and vegetable consumption. As part of the study, 2,500 people logged onto a website that gave information about the health benefits of fruits and vegetables as well as provided the participants with ways to incorporate more produce into their meals.
The study measured the change in fruit and vegetable consumption associated with visiting a website that offered tailored information with and without motivational emails and an untailored “control” website. The two different websites had the same layout but the tailored site offered personalized nutritional information based on a survey taken by the participant, whereas the other site offered general information about the nutrition of fruits and vegetables.
The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention recommends 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Less than 25% of Americans accomplish this. However, three months into this study, 70% of participants were eating the recommended 5 or more servings, an increase of 20% from when the study began. This indicates that a well-designed, user-friendly website is helpful in educating people on the importance of fruits and vegetables in your daily diet.
There are several interactive websites that provide nutritional information, track calorie intake, offer tips on how to incorporate 5 or more servings of fruit and veggies into meals and more. Here are some good options:
Garlic not only falls in the vegetable category but it also made Prevention magazine’s list of “25 Ridiculously Healthy Foods”. Add some healthy flavor to your meals with California heirloom garlic.