Are 5 Servings of Fruits and Veggies Really All You Need for Longevity?

 My initial thoughts on the new AHA study.

If you want a longer life, eat 2 servings of fruit and 3 servings of veggies per day, concludes the American Heart Association in a recently published meta study.

While one of the included studies did find a reduction in mortality risk for eating additional servings (up to 10), the others did not.

Given the wealth of evidence that whole food plant-based (WFPB) diets beat out omnivore and lacto-ovo-vegitarian diets for longevity, how do we reconcile these findings that additional servings beyond 5 aren't longevity-promoting?

My thought is that for those that consume animal products, the benefits of eating fruits and veggies do eventually plateau. There is only so much good they can do.

The additional boosts in longevity that we see in WFPB diets comes from the absence of animal products, as well as the inclusion of whole grains and legumes. Neither was the focus of this meta-analysis.

My take: 

  • If you don't currently eat at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies (fresh, canned, or frozen --- just not juice since it is missing the fiber) start with that as your goal. 
  • If you are really interested in longevity, ratchet back your consumption of dairy, meat, and eggs.