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9/30/13 7:19 P

I agree----eating 5 servings of just one fruit or veggie for the day would seem strange. Variety is key. But it would still "count" as 5 servings.


YOGAGEEK SparkPoints: (6,917)
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9/30/13 8:00 A

I thought I'd read it on the NHS website, though looking for it now the closest I can find is this:


Q: Can I just eat five portions of my favourite fruit or vegetable?

A: To get the maximum benefits, you need to eat different types of fruit and vegetables. This is because different fruit and vegetables contain different combinations of fibre, minerals and other nutrients. Aim to include a wide variety of fruit and vegetables in your 5 A DAY to get the most nutritional benefit.



I must have misremembered what it said; my mistake. That being said, I still wouldn't feel right counting 5 apples and carrots as meeting my quota for the reasons quoted above.

9/30/13 7:19 A

While a variety of fruits and veggies is always encouraged; I am not aware of a recommendation saying if you eat 2 apples and 3 carrots that it only counts as 2 servings. I would say this is still 2 fruit servings and 3 veggies for a total of 5.

Can you share the link?

YOGAGEEK SparkPoints: (6,917)
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9/30/13 5:14 A

The NHS guidelines are that legumes, like fruit juice, can count as ONE serving, no matter how much you eat; both contain some of the benefits of fruit and veg, but not all of them, so you can't eat lentils, kidney beans, chick peas, black beans, and broad beans and say that's your five a day.

That being said, even for actual fruit and veg, you don't count the same thing as more than one serving. It's 5-10 DIFFERENT servings of fruit and veg a day; 2 apples and 3 carrots only count as two. Like beans, you're getting the fibre benefit, but not the variety of nutrients.

EXOTEC Posts: 3,327
9/29/13 9:17 P

If you use SP's Recipe Calculator, you should be able to enter all your ingredients and the macros will fall into the appropriate category for your daily totals. At least, that seems to be the way it works for me.

I guess, if' you're doing your own tracking, you do need to categorize as others here have already suggested.

If you haven't tried the Recipe Calculator though, do! It's another great tool in the Nutritional Tracking section.

9/29/13 3:48 P

Miss Ruth has it correct.
And the polenta would be a grain serving.

You could easily enter your recipe to see how it adds up protein wise. If the meal is a little low in protein---add on a glass of milk, shredded cheese to the chile, or yogurt and fruit for dessert


MISSRUTH Posts: 4,309
9/29/13 3:14 P

From what Becky said, and your description of how you're using the beans in your meal.... they're a protein. The onions, peppers, carrots, tomatoes in the chili would be vegetables.

DHARMADRAGON SparkPoints: (9,564)
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9/29/13 2:39 P

Dear Becky,

thanks for the clarification of how to record beans for nutrition.

However, my primary form of eating beans is in chili. I make a recipe where I make a batch of chili from mostly canned black beans and mexican style stewed tomatoes, add in other things like onions, bell peppers, and even carrots. Then I mix polenta... I know that corn and beans together makes a complete protein, and the polenta is fairly low in carbs; overall it helps me with both my calorie tracking and weight loss, because it's very filling and provides a lot of energy.

So my question is, given this is a staple of my diet (I'm divorced, I call it my "bachelor chow"), how should I record the use of beans in this situation? It doesn't fall into eating beans as a side dish, but given they're mixed in with a lot of other things, it doesn't seem they constitute a main course either.

Thanks in advance!

Edited by: DHARMADRAGON at: 9/29/2013 (14:39)
MARINCESS SparkPoints: (57,943)
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7/3/13 10:00 P

emoticon emoticon

7/3/13 8:03 P

The red beans can count as a vegetable or a protein; it is your choice and depends on how you are using them in the meal.
If they are your main entrée/protein food then count them as a protein.
If you are using them as a side dish and you have another protein rich food on your plate, you can count them as a starchy veggie.

SP Registered Dietitian

SHAKESALOT Posts: 1,334
6/28/13 4:40 P

a veggie that is a great source of protien

NIRERIN Posts: 14,325
6/28/13 3:54 P

if you go by usda guidelines they can be counted as vegetables or protein. vegetarians would put them in protein first, but they can go in the vegetable category as well. keep in mind that one of the functions of eating 5 servings of vegetables a day is to get various nutrients in, so eating four servings of the same food kind of defeats the whole getting in a variety portion.

DRAGONCHILDE SparkPoints: (61,458)
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6/28/13 3:31 P

Are you talking about for your vegetable/fruit tracker?

That's a tool for your own tracking use. Use it the way you want. Use it in the way that suits your health's needs. For me, I count beans as a vegetable.

MARINCESS SparkPoints: (57,943)
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6/28/13 12:34 P

Thanks I was confused. And I do believe that beans are considered "vegetables", just a subcategory which are the legumes which is why I was questioning. Thank you for the input! It does make more sense to add it to the protein, carb, and fiber count. emoticon

GDBEAR65 SparkPoints: (0)
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6/28/13 12:29 P

Beans are not vegetables - as stated they will count towards carbs, fiber and protein but not as servings of veggies.

Incidentally black beans are the most nutritious of all.

CSIENK Posts: 6,724
6/28/13 12:00 P

Red beans are technically a legume. If it were me, I wouldn't count them towards my vegetables for the day. They would, of course, be automatically included in my protein (and carbs, fiber, etc) totals when I tracked my meal. Good for you though - red beans are a healthy food choice!

MARINCESS SparkPoints: (57,943)
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6/28/13 11:54 A

I just had 2 cups of small red beans and
Am wondering if I should count it as 4 servings of vegetables or
Just consider it a protein for the day.

Any thoughts?

Thank you in advance! emoticon

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