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Ask the experts: 5+ a day

Q: "I know you are meant to eat 5+ a day serves of fruit and veges, but can you eat too much? Can you put on weight by eating too many veges (excluding starchy veges) and fruits like apples, pears and mandarins?"

Kylee

A: Nutritionist Claire Turnbull advises:

"Weight-gain is a result of eating more energy or kilojoules (kJ) in total each day than you are burning off. Over time these extra kJ will be stored as fat. Most fruit and vegetables are relatively low in kJ compared to many other foods, but if you do eat lots of fruit on top of balanced healthy meals it could mean you have more energy in total than you need each day.

The recommendation for 5+ a day suggests 2 serves of fruit (or more), and at least 3 servings of vegetables. If you are watching your weight, stick to 2 pieces of fruit and go for 3+ on the vegetables. Limit starchy vegetables like potato, kumara, yams and corn to one of these serves. The remaining 2+ servings of vegetables can be all the other vegetables which are considered non-starchy vegetables and tend to be lower in kJ. If you do have a diet rich in fruit and vegetables and you're looking to keep your weight under control, check the kJ content of the other foods you are eating."

First published: Feb 2009



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