A. Based on evidence that indicates intake of at least 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and fruits per day is associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease [including heart attack and stroke], and increased protection against certain types of cancer, the USDA released this serving recommendation in its Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. The USDA then released the MyPlate icon to in 2011 to help simplify the serving recommendation. The icon demonstrates if you fill half your plate with fruits and veggies at every meal and snack, you will get your recommended daily amount.
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The Expert: Dr. Elizabeth Pivonka, a mother of two and a registered dietitian, shares years of experience in getting people to eat more fruits and veggies.Read Her Full Bio