Heart Disease Awareness

bowl of strawberriesFebruary is American Heart Month. By making changes in your lifestyle, including your eating habits, you may reduce your risk for heart disease. According to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, moderate evidence indicates that intake of at least 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and fruit per day is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke.

Most Americans are lacking when it comes to their fruit and vegetable intake. A study by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control) reported that 87 percent of Americans don't meet recommendations for fruit consumption, and 91 percent don't meet recommendations for vegetable consumption.

How much do you need?

The amount of fruits and vegetables you need to eat depends on your age, sex, and level of physical activity. Recommended total daily amounts and recommended weekly amounts from each vegetable subgroup are shown in the two charts below.

Daily Vegetable Chart
Daily Fruit Chart


Know your servings.

What is a cup?

In general, 1 cup of fruit or 100% fruit juice, or a 1/2 cup of dried fruit can be considered as 1 cup from the fruit group. The chart below shows specific amounts that count as 1 cup of fruit toward your daily recommended intake.

In general, 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables or vegetable juice, or 2 cups of raw leafy greens can be considered as 1 cup from the vegetable group. The chart below lists specific amounts that count as 1 cup of vegetables.

Cup of Vegetables Chart
Cup of Fruit Chart


Tips to increase fruit and vegetable intake.

Follow these tips to increase your fruit and vegetable intake:

On the go
At home
At the grocery store
Eating out




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Taking Steps Toward Better Health

The journey toward healthy living isn't always easy, but there are many great resources that can provide tips and information to help encourage you along the way.

Health Articles

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