How do you figure out what constitutes a serving of vegetables?

Many resources are available for figuring out what constitutes a serving of vegetables or fruit. Among those is a Canada’s Food Guide list of servings.

The examples for vegetables and fruit, from the above-noted website, includes, by way of example:

125 mL, ½ cup, 6 spears

Beans, green
125 mL, ½ cup

Bok choy/Chinese cabbage (Choi sum)
125 mL, ½ cup cooked

125 mL, ½ cup

Brussels sprouts
125 mL, ½ cup, 4 sprouts

125 mL, ½ cup, 1 large

125 mL, ½ cup

[The list goes on]

Once I figured out how the serving sizes work, I found that ensuring that I had 7-plus (more precisely, about 10) servings a day of vegetable and fruits, with a predominance of vegetables, was an easy task. It’s not as complicated as I would have imagined, before I made a point of keeping track of things.

Fruit and vegetable consumption and all-cause, cancer, and cardiovascular disease mortality

A relevant resource, that I’ve found of much interest, is an article entitled “Fruit and vegetable consumption and all-cause, cancer and CVD mortality: analysis of Health Survey for England data. (2014).”

You can read an Open Access version of the article at the following link:

Oyebode O, Gordon-Dseagu V, Walker A, et al. J Epidemiol Community Health 2014;68:856–862.

Some excerpts:

Consumption of vegetables appeared to be significantly better than similar quantities of fruit.

Raw vegetables have been shown by others to have a stronger inverse association with mortality than cooked vegetables

Fruit consumption was not significantly associated with deaths from cancer or from CVD [cardiovascular disease]. Vegetable consumption was significantly associated with reduced CVD and cancer death.

Fruit and vegetable consumption is inversely related to household income.

We found a strong inverse relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption and all-cause mortality which was stronger when deaths within a year of baseline were excluded and when fully adjusting for physical activity. Fruit and vegetable consumption was significantly associated with reductions in cancer and CVD mortality, with increasing benefits being seen with up to more than seven portions of fruit and vegetables daily for the latter. Consumption of vegetables appeared to be significantly better than similar quantities of fruit. When different types of fruit and vegetable were examined separately, increased consumption of portions of vegetables, salad, fresh and dried fruit showed significant associations with lower mortality. However, frozen/canned fruit consumption was apparently associated with a higher risk of mortality.

More excerpts

A more comprehension collection of excerpts can be found here.

[End of excerpts]

A useful reference regarding fine points such as whether or not potatoes can be viewed as vegetables is entitled: Fruit and vegetable consumption in Europe – do Europeans get enough?

You can find many such resources – including more recent ones than the 2012 resource noted in the previous paragraph – by doing a Google search for “surveys of vegetable consumption.”

Previous posts

In previous posts, I’ve written about vegetables and related topics; you can find them by doing doing a search for “vegetables” using the search engine at this website. Below are some of the posts:

CBC list of top health news stories of 2014

Mediterranean diet is high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and olive oil, & low in dairy products & meat

Eat your vegetables; the research regarding this topic is highly persuasive

Jill Eisen explores the politics, economics, and science of overeating (CBC Ideas podcast)

Defining powerhouse fruits and vegetables

Also of relevance is Di Noia J. Defining Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables: A Nutrient Density Approach.

The list in the above-noted study is of a provisional nature, as I understand from the text.

A July 27, 2015 CBC article is entitled: “Superfood rankings overvalued, dietitian says.”


A Jan. 7, 2015 CBC article is entitled: “Food purchases, calories go up after holidays:
Despite resolutions, consumers spent more on both healthy and less-healthy foods.”

A Jan. 12, 2015 CBC article is entitled: “What’s the secret to Japan’s slender population? Serious ‘eating education’: ‘We don’t just teach them about cooking; we teach them about the importance of eating local,’ teacher says.”

A Jan. 26, 2015 CBC The Current podcast is entitled:”‘Fat doesn’t make you fat’: Nina Teicholz’s big surprise.”

An August 1, 2015 New York Times article is entitled: “My Dinner With Longevity Expert Dan Buettner (No Kale Required).” The article notes: Not a lot of dairy products.


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