Infacare fruit: what counts as your 5 a day portions

“Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit every day” is one of South Africa’s food based dietary guidelines. When these guidelines were established, the majority of South Africans did not meet the required intake for fruit and vegetables. Evidence suggests that a greater vegetable and fruit intake is associated with the reduced risk of many nutrition-related diseases and risk factors that contribute substantially to the burden of disease in South Africa. [1]

South Africa’s food based dietary guideline incorporates the World Health Organization’s (WHO) recommendation. [1] WHO recommends an intake of at least 400 g of fruit and vegetables per day which translates to five portions of fruit and vegetables excluding starchy vegetables such as potatoes and sweet potatoes. [2]

But what counts? What is a portion?

  • 80 g of fresh, canned or frozen fruit and vegetables counts as 1 portion of your 5 A Day. Choose fresh were possible and opt for tinned or canned fruit and vegetables in natural juice or water, with no added sugar or salt.
  • 30 g of dried fruit (which is equivalent to ca. 80 g of fresh fruit) counts as 1 portion of your 5 A Day. [3]

Some portions only count once in a day or as a treat:

  • Fruit juice, vegetable juice or smoothie. Diluting fruit juice with water can make it go further. The amount that may be consumed is age specific.
  • 80 g of beans and pulses. These only count as one portion a day, no matter how much you eat. This is because they are a good source of fibre, but they contain fewer nutrients than other fruits and vegetables. [3]

100% Fruit Juice: Squeezing Fact from Fiction

Whether or not drinking 100% fruit juice is associated with poor health outcomes is controversial. One-hundred percent fruit juice may contain as much sugar as regular soda [4] and sugar consumption should be limited [2]. But it may provide needed nutrients to some people’s diets. [4] One-hundred percent fruit juice has a similar nutritional profile as whole fruit, but lack dietary fibre, calcium and Vitamin C if not enriched. [5]

A systematic review that focused on the association between 100% fruit juice consumption and chronic health conditions in children and adults, concluded that aside from increased risk of tooth decay in children and small amounts of weight gain in young children and adults, there is no conclusive evidence that consumption of 100% fruit juice has adverse health effects. [4]

To reduce the risk of tooth decay, juices should be consumed at mealtimes, not as a between-meal snack. [3] Toddlers should not be given juice from bottles or easily transportable covered cups as this will allow them to consume juice easily throughout the day. It is not recommended to feed toddler’s juice at bedtime. Fruit juice offers no additional nutritional benefits over whole fruit for infants and children and it does not play an essential role in healthy, balance diets of children. [6]

To conclude, eating fruit is preferable to drinking fruit juice as it is higher in dietary fibre. One-hundred percent fruit juice is acceptable as an occasional substitute. [1]

The Infacare Juice range is made from 100% juice blend and comes in five fruity flavours including 100% apple juice blend, 100% apple, apricot & banana juice blend, 100% apple & plum juice blend, 100% apple, pine & mango juice blend and 100% apple, peach & rooibos juice blend

References

[1] C. Naude, ““Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit every day”: a food-based dietary guideline for South Africa,” S Afr J Clin Nutr, vol. 26, no. 3 (Supplement), pp. S46-S56, 2013.
[2] World Health Organization, World Health Organisation, 29 April 2020. [Online]. Available: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/healthy-diet. [Accessed 11 June 2021].
[3] NHS, “5 A day: What counts?,” NHS, 8 October 2018. [Online]. Available: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/5-a-day-what-counts/. [Accessed 11 June 2021].
[4] B. Auerbach, S. Dibey, P. Vallila-Buchman, M. Kratz and J. Krieger, “Review of 100% fruit juice and chronic health conditions: Implications for sugar-sweetened beverage policy,” Adv Nutr , vol. 9, pp. 78-85, 2018.
[5] R. Clemens, A. Drewnowski, M. Ferruzzi, C. Toner and D. Welland, “Squeezing fact from fiction about 100% fruit juice,” Adv Nutr , vol. 6, p. 236S–243S, 2015.
[6] Heyman, “Fruit Juice in infants, children, and adolescents: Current recommendations,” Pediatrics, vol. 139, no. 6, p. e20170967, 2017.