Veggie Trends: How Many People Really Eat Their Vegetables?

Veggie Trends: How Many People Really Eat Their Vegetables?Veggies are an important part of a healthy diet, but most Americans aren’t getting enough vegetables in any form – fresh, frozen or canned. How bleak is the situation? According to a survey carried out by the Centers for Disease Control, only 26.3% of people ate 3 or more servings of vegetables a day in 2009, which was about the same as the percentage as in 2000. Despite greater awareness of the health benefits of vegetables, vegetable consumption doesn’t seem to be increasing.

Some areas of the country are eating more veggies than others. States, where most people are getting 3 or more servings a day, include Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia, Maine, Vermont, and New Hampshire. What state has the distinction of eating the fewest vegetables? That distinction goes to South Dakota. Fewer than 20% of people in South Dakota eat at least 3 servings a day. With most health experts recommending a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, the majority of people are falling short.

Why Do So Few People Eat Vegetables?

According to an article published in the New York Times, some people think vegetables are intimidating and even a bit scary. They don’t know how to prepare them and claim they don’t have the time. Some well-meaning veggie hopefuls purchase fresh produce at their farmer’s market or supermarket with good intentions but never get around to preparing them. Instead, they promptly discard them when they turn brown and never get the health benefits. Some people simply don’t like the taste of vegetables and would prefer an order of French fries to the vegetable of the day.

So what’s the secret to getting people to eat more vegetables? Buying a package of frozen vegetables is less intimidating than buying fresh produce and then you have to worry about cleaning and prepping them. Some people don’t feel comfortable cleaning, chopping and cooking a batch of greens but have less problem buying frozen greens where most of the work is already done. Frozen vegetables are just as healthful and nutritious as fresh ones since they’re frozen at their peak of freshness.

You can prepare frozen vegetables by sautéing them quickly in a little olive oil over medium heat. Be careful not to overcook them since frozen vegetables are pre-cooked. For more flavor, add chopped onions, garlic, lemon juice or even hot sauce. Read frozen vegetable labels carefully. Some frozen vegetable mixtures have added sauces, butter or artificial flavors. Look for ones that contain exclusively vegetables for the most health benefits. Canned vegetables are also simpler to prepare than fresh, but the bisphenol-A that lines the inside of cans is a health concern.

What about People Who Don’t Like the Taste of Vegetables?

Vegetables have a different taste when they’re prepared on a grill. The heat caramelizes their natural sugars and makes them taste sweeter. Sprinkling a little parmesan cheese on veggies also makes them more appealing. Raw vegetables taste better if you dip them in salsa or a healthy dip. It’s also a good idea to try different types of vegetables. Some vegetables like squash and sweet potatoes have a sweeter taste that makes them popular even with veggie-haters.

The Bottom Line?

Most people aren’t getting enough veggies in their diet either because they don’t know how to prepare them or they simply don’t like them. Don’t let vegetables intimidate you! Use these tips and get their health benefits even when you have limited time to cook.



Capital-Journal. “South Dakota lags in fruit, vegetable consumption”
New York Times. “Told to Eat Its Vegetables, America Orders Fries”


Related Articles By Cathe:

How Many Servings of Fruits and Vegetables SHOULD You Be Eating?

Canned, Fresh, and Frozen Vegetables: Are They Equally Nutritious?

Are Nightshade Vegetables Unhealthy?

6 Lesser Known Vegetables with Powerful Health Benefits

5 Ways to Add Breakfast Vegetables to Your Diet.

Are Raw Vegetables Better for You?

4 Science-Backed Reasons to Add More Fermented Vegetables to Your Diet

Does Peeling Fruits and Vegetables Eliminate Most of the Pesticides?

Can a Natural Compound in Vegetables Slow Aging?

Why the Fruits & Vegetables You’re Eating Aren’t as Nutritious as They Could Be

Hi, I'm Cathe

I want to help you get in the best shape of your life and stay healthy with my workout videos, DVDs and Free Weekly Newsletter. Here are several ways you can watch and work out to my exercise videos and purchase my fitness products:

Get Your Free Weekly Cathe Friedrich Newsletter

Get free weekly tips on Fitness, Health, Weight Loss and Nutrition delivered directly to your email inbox. Plus get Special Cathe Product Offers and learn about What’s New at Cathe Dot Com.

Enter your email address below to start receiving my free weekly updates. Don’t worry…I guarantee 100% privacy. Your information will not be shared and you can easily unsubscribe whenever you like. Our Privacy Policy