Ask the experts: Too many vegetables?

Q: "Is it possible to eat too many vegetables? I eat two large servings of salad each day – based around one to two cups of spinach – and I try to have every colour represented. For example, I have yellow capsicums, purple beetroot/cabbage, red tomatoes, brown mushrooms, green avocado, sesame seeds or almonds, and about 100g of light tuna. But what is the ideal portion size for salad? Am I eating too much?"


A: HFG nutritionist Claire Turnbull responds:

For good health, we should aim to have 3+ servings of vegetables every day. A serving is roughly what fits in your hand when it is cupped. The PLUS next to the number three really does mean, the more the better. You are probably having four to five servings a day, which is just fine. It is ideal to include a variety of different colours of veges for the maximum benefit, which you are definitely doing.

There is no ideal size for a salad, but if you are having a salad as a 'meal' it is important to try and include some protein and healthy fat as well as the veges.

What you are doing now sounds like a healthy mix as you have some protein (tuna) and healthy fat (avocado and nuts). You could add some chickpeas, kidney beans or mixed beans if you wanted to boost the carbohydrates. As long as your digestive system is coping with the dose of fibre you are having every day (i.e. you're not on the loo every five minutes!) it sounds like you are doing what is right for you.

First published: Oct 2009

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