Eating three to four servings of fruit, vegetables and legumes per day (375-500g) achieves a similar benefit against the risk of mortality to higher portions, according to a study of more than 135,000 people around the world published in The Lancet.
The findings provide a more affordable option for those in low- and middle-income countries, and may have important implications on household spending and food security in poorer countries.
Global dietary guidelines, like the World Health Organisation, recommend eating five servings of fruit, vegetables or legumes a day (equivalent to minimum 400g), but these targets are unaffordable for most people in low- and middle-income countries. The study suggests that three to four portions amounting to 375-500g could be just as beneficial.
The authors do not recommend changes for people in high-income countries who can afford fruit, vegetables and legumes, but suggest that, for people who live in low- and middle-income countries, this provides an approach that is likely to be more affordable.