Fruits and Vegetables - Key components of healthy diet


Fruits and vegetables are recommended across all dietary guidelines. Moreover, guidelines are increasingly emphasising that vegetables and fruits should make up a larger share of people’s meals than starchy staples. In Argentina, Austria, Benin, Ecuador, Finland, Jamaica and Qatar, for example, recent dietary guideline visualsiv show larger fractions devoted to vegetables and fruits than to starchy staples like cereals, potatoes, bread, and the like. This contrasts with more traditional dietary guidelines which tend to emphasise staples.

Despite the nutrition credentials of vegetables, they remain relatively scarce and expensive in many low-income settings, including across many of the countries where GAIN’s main offices are based.

Globally, average vegetable supply is around 385 grams per person per day. National variation is large though. In countries with GAIN offices, it ranges from just 49g per person per day in Ethiopia to 312g per person per day in the United States of America – or around half of an 80g serving to almost 4 servings. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends consuming at least 400g of fruits or vegetables per person per day.

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