9 Apples A Day?

Just when people were nearing the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, along comes the National Cancer Institute telling us that we really need as many as nine--that's per day, people, not per week. "Five is fine for children," says Lorelei DiSogra, who spearheaded the new campaign. "Women need seven; men, nine." Is she nuts? Actually, no. The USDA's food pyramid has recommended five to nine since 1991. The NCI is just reminding people what the guidelines have said all along.

Fortunately, reaching the target is easier than you think. "Servings" are pretty small. While bulky lettuce requires a cup, you get a serving with just half a cup of most chopped fruits and veggies. (And we all know how easy it is to eat half a cup of salsa.) Just six spears of asparagus make a serving, as do eight medium strawberries. For dried fruit, which is dense, a serving is a quarter cup.

But don't feel smug about smothering those fries in ketchup. Highly processed foods tend to have a lot of added salt, sugar and fat. Real produce is what you want. Remember: Veggie Booty isn't a vegetable.

9 Apples A Day? | News