Getting All My Servings of Vegetables

I’m trying to eat healthier. I really am. (I’ll sometimes even go a whole day without a donut!)

Apparently, one of the keys to eating healthy is having a balanced diet. Balanced how? Balanced between the different food groups. I remember learning about the food groups when I was a kid, but I don’t remember what they were. (A lot of the things they taught me as a kid have changed.) (Did you know Pluto used to be considered a planet?)

In my mind, these are the main food groups:

1. Meat–beef, bacon, chicken, non-bacon pork, and maybe some fish.

2. Cheese–all of the cheeses, plus butter and milk.

3. Wheat and grains–all of the breads and all of the noodles. (Donuts qualify as breads, right?) 

4. Desserts–cakes, pies, cookies, donuts (they do double-duty), puddings, pastries, cobblers, and ice creams.

5. Fruits–bananas, oranges, apples, pears, peaches, etc.

6. Vegetables–lettuce, carrots, broccoli, green beans, peppers, cabbage, and anything else you might feed a rabbit.

However, while vegetables are near the bottom of my list, professional healthy-eating people put them higher. According to the American Heart Association, a person should have four or five servings of fruits and vegetables per day. How difficult this is depends on how exactly you define a “serving.” In my mind, a serving is one unit of a vegetable.

The other day I had a cheeseburger. It had two big pieces of lettuce and at least three pickles, so that should count as five servings, right? (Pickles are vegetables. I’m not going to argue about this.) Throw in four baby carrots, and I’m crushing it with nine servings of vegetables! I’m eating healthy! And that’s not even counting all the apples from my apple fritter.

However, there are some who would say I’m overestimating the size of a serving. They say that one baby carrot is not an entire serving of vegetables. They say it would take a whole head of lettuce just to get one serving. They say that in order to get four or five servings, I would have to eat four or five entire bags of salad. (My guess is that true healthy eating is somewhere between these two extremes.)

I know I should probably eat more vegetables. Even though I’m not a rabbit or a hamster, I know that vegetables are better for me than a lot of the other things I eat, and I need to get more servings of them every day.

(I wonder how many pieces of carrot cake would I have to eat in order to get my five servings of vegetables today?

Joseph Capell
Joseph Capell
Joe Capell is a husband and the father of four children. When not herding the kids or working, he enjoys writing funny-ish things for the amusement of others. He’s also fond of naps and eating ice cream with his wife.

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