DAGUPAN CITY, July 11 (PIA) — Filipinos should increase their daily intake of vegetables because the required average consumption has not reached the required level for more than three decades now, a nutritionist in this city advised.
Leah L. Aquino, head of the city nutrition office, said most Filipinos are not taking enough vegetables.
An average Filipino should eat at least 400 grams of vegetables per day, she said during the “Pantongtongan Tayo” radio program of the Philippine Information Agency Tuesday.
Citing a study conducted from 1978 to 2008, she said none of the regions are consuming the required amount.
People from the Cordillera Administrative Region have the highest intake of vegetables at 169 grams per day, while Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao and the CALABARZON has the lowest at 92 grams per day.
Aquino attributes this insufficient intake of vegetables to commercialization of food, particularly the fast foods, which usually serve meat.
Vegetables, she said, contain nutrients and fibers that can help eliminate toxins in the body, thus are capable of preventing most non-communicable diseases, including hypertension and kidney diseases.
While the Nutrition Month this year emphasizes the importance of vegetable in diets, Aquino also advised the consumption of meat and carbohydrate-rich foods as they contain nutrients needed by the body but are not found in a purely vegetarian diet. (JCR/ARRF-PIA 1, Pangasinan)