How much alcohol, and what’s a portion of fruit?

According to The Health Survey for England:

  • Only 14 per cent of men and 11 per cent of women know what a portion of fruit or veg is.
  • Only one third of adults knows what the recommended amount of alcohol is for a man or a woman per week.
  • One third know how much exercise they should do each week.
Most people don’t know how much alcohol they can take, nor are they sure what makes up five pieces of fruit or vegetables.
Most people know that they should only drink alcohol in moderation, that five pieces of fruit or veg a day are recommended and that regular exercise is essential for good health.
So what constitutes a portion of fruit or vegetables?
According to the Food Standards Agency it is:

• 1 apple, banana, pear, orange or similar sized fruit
• ½ grapefruit or avocado
• 3 heaped tablespoons of vegetables
• 3 heaped tbsp of beans and pulses – however much you eat they only count as one portion per day
• 2 plums or similar sized fruit
• 1 handful of grapes, cherries or berries
• Dessert bowl of salad
• One glass of fruit juice – however much you drink it counts as only one portion a day
• 3 heaped tbsp of fruit salad or stewed fruit
• 1 heaped tbsp of dried fruit

What are the guidelines on alcohol?

(Figures from Food Standards Agency website)

• Women – 14 units a week
• Men – 21 units a week

What is a unit?

• 1 unit – ½ pint standard strength beer, lager or cider
• 2 units – one glass of wine
• 1.5 units – small bottle of Alcopops

How much exercise is healthy?

The British Heart Foundation recommends 30 minutes of exercise five or more times a week to prevent heart disease and this is a good guide for general good health.

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