What counts as 5 A DAY?
There are so many fruit and veg to choose from!
Nearly all fruit and veg, whether it’s fresh, dried, frozen, tinned or canned counts towards your 5 A DAY. Just remember to keep dried fruit to mealtimes only. Beans and pulses count too. These are things like lentils and kidney beans, and they count as one portion, no matter how much you eat. In fact, it’s really only potatoes that don’t count.
Drinks count as well!
Smoothies, fruit and veg juices all count towards your 5 A DAY too. A 150ml glass of unsweetened, 100% fruit or vegetable juice or smoothie counts as a maximum of one portion. That means, no matter how much you drink, it’s still just one portion, and because juices and smoothies can contain a lot of fruit sugar, it’s best to limit the amount you drink and try to drink with meals to reduce the risk of tooth decay.
As a general rule, aim to drink 6-8 glasses of fluid every day. Water, lower-fat milk and sugar-free drinks are all good options.
Don't forget the fruit and veg in meals
And, add to that – the fruit and veg in cooked in dishes such as soup, stews or pasta dishes.
Ready meals and pre-prepared pasta sauces can also contain fruit and veg, which counts. But, you need to keep an eye on these, as they can be high in salt, sugar and fat, so it’s best to have them just sometimes. You can find information about the salt, sugar and fat content of ready-made foods on the label.
Read more about food labels
Remember - potatoes don’t count!
Potatoes are a starchy food, and great source of energy, fibre, B vitamins and potassium. We also get a lot of our vitamin C from potatoes because we eat so many. When eaten as part of a meal, potatoes are generally used in place of other sources of starch, such as bread, pasta or rice. Because of this, they don't count towards your 5 A DAY.
Other vegetables that don't count towards your 5 A DAY are yams, cassava and plantain: they are usually eaten as starchy foods.
Sweet potatoes, parsnips, swedes and turnips do count towards your 5 A DAY, because they are usually eaten in addition to the starchy food part of the meal.
While potatoes don't count towards your 5 A DAY, they play an important role in your diet, particularly if they are not cooked with salt or fat. Potatoes are a good source of fibre, so leave the skins on where possible to keep in more of the fibre and vitamins. For example, if you're having boiled potatoes or a jacket potato, make sure you eat the skin too.