Vegetable and fruit intake: Associations with health and guidelines for adults in Greece
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Benetou V., Belogianni K., Kastorini C. M., Zota D., Papadimitriou E., Spiridis I., Veloudaki A., Panagiotakos D. & Linos A. (2015) Vegetable and fruit intake associations with health and guidelines for adults in Greece. Iatriki, 104 (1), pp. 11-30.
Introduction High vegetable and/or fruit intake has been associated with beneficial effects on health. Nevertheless, the level of scientific evidence supporting these associations needs to be investigated in order to formulate dietary guidelines for the general adult population. Material-Method The association between vegetable and fruit intake and incidence of coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes and cancer was investigated and the level of evidence of these associations was graded. Quantitative and qualitative guidelines were subsequently developed taking into account several other factors. Results There is general agreement of evidence that the highest intake of vegetables and/or fruits compared to the lowest intake is associated with lower risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, colorectal and oral cancer, while the majority of the evidence has shown that is also associated with lower risk of esophageal and stomach cancer. The final recommendations were set to 4 servings of vegetables and 3 servings of fruits daily. Conclusions The recommended daily consumption of 4 servings of vegetables and 3 servings of fruits for adults living in Greece is based on sound evidence, complies with their dietary habits and traditions, is practically feasible and should be encouraged by all health professionals.