The recipe that reduces weight and prolongs life, according to Harvard experts

The “Rule of Five”: The Recipe That Loses Weight and Lengthens Life, According to Harvard Experts

A Analysis published in early March In the Journal of the American Heart Association and which collects data from studies conducted with more than 2 million people around the world, came to the conclusion that there is a mathematical formula for what to eat every day, 3+2, with the potential . Enlarge life.


He The study is led by epidemiologists, nutritionists and members of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Dong D. Wang.

Dr. Wang and the scientists who joined him in this analysis have collected data from various studies involving approximately 2 million people.

Thus, scientists analyzed data from two studies that included more than 100,000 adults who were followed for 30 years. The data included information on fruit and vegetable intake and death.

Observational research with over a million adults

In any case, the authors of this analysis make it clear that this is an observational research and, thus, its important limitation is that a direct cause-effect relationship cannot be established.

That is why no direct, scientifically based statement can be made based on the data that establishes an association between fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of death.

But, as Wang says:

  • “Our analysis in two groups of American men and women yielded similar results to 26 groups conducted around the world, supporting the biological plausibility of our findings and suggesting that we can apply them to broader populations.”

So much so that its findings are very close and confirm, among other things, the recommendation made by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which states that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables They help reduce the risk of many chronic diseases which are the main causes of deathWhich includes cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

The right combination of fruits and vegetables is a guarantee of health

Optimal levels for effective and achievable diet

That’s why Wang emphasizes that his study identifies optimal levels of fruit and vegetable intake, and supports the concise, evidence-based public health message of “5 per day.”

A phrase in the form of a slogan meaning that people should consume five servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

Specifically, 2 of fruits and 3 of vegetables, which Wang says is completely achievable for almost everyone.

However he points out that in his research “we also found Not all fruits and vegetables provide the same level of benefitsHowever current dietary recommendations generally treat all types of fruits and vegetables equally, including starchy vegetables, fruit juices, and potatoes.

“5 a day” is enough

We can draw these five points as general conclusions from all studies:

  • Eating about five servings of fruits and vegetables per day was associated with low risk of death, There was no additional benefit from eating more than five servings.

  • Eating about two daily servings of fruits and three daily servings of vegetables was associated with greater longevity,

  • Compared with those who consumed two servings of fruits and vegetables per day, participants who consumed five servings of fruits and vegetables per day had:

  • A 13% lower risk of death from all causes,

  • 12% lower risk of death from cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke;

  • 10% less risk of death from cancer

  • And the risk of death from respiratory diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), is reduced by 35%.

  • not all Foods that can be considered fruits and vegetables provide equal benefits, For example: Starchy vegetables like peas and corn, fruit juices and potatoes were not associated with a lower risk of death.
  • On the other end, green leafy vegetablesSuch as spinach, lettuce and kale, as well as fruits and vegetables rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C, citrus fruits or carrots showed significant benefits.

3+2, it’s the perfect combination of fruits and vegetables… every day

What is a serving of fruits or vegetables?

To understand what it means One portion of fruit has several equivalents Done by dietitians and nutritionists.

Here we include a few for a quick understanding of Wang’s “recipe”, but they are not alone nor do we include a very exhaustive list.


  • 1 piece Medium fruits like kiwi, pear, apple, orange, grapes…
  • 1 medium piece Cantaloupe, watermelon or pineapple.
  • 1 glass 100% juice and no added sugar.
  • 2-3 medium pieces Apricots, plums, dates, tangerines, figs, etc.
  • 1 dessert plate Cherries, grapes, blackberries, raisins, etc.
  • 1 medium piece Of avocado.
  • Mango: half medium slice


  • a small bouquet Lettuce, arugula, watercress, lamb’s lettuce, endive.
  • 1 small cooked plate Cabbage, mushrooms, thistles, carrots, pumpkins, green beans…
  • half tied Chard or spinach.
  • 5 to 8 twigs Broccoli or cauliflower.
  • 1 medium piece Tomatoes, onions, zucchini, carrots, potatoes.
  • 1 cup Raw vegetables such as radishes, chopped celery, chopped peppers, Brussels sprouts or cabbage.
  • 3 tbsp Mashed potatoes or 5 tablespoons other mashed vegetables
  • 1 small cucumber.

  • 1 large carrot

  • 4 medium artichokes

  • 6 thin asparagus.

  • ½ glass tomato juice

This new research has been published in the American Heart Association. The leading journal provides strong evidence of the circulation and lifelong benefits of eating fruits and vegetables. And it also explains in detail and suggests a target amount of daily consumption for ideal health.

“The key point is that fruits and vegetables are naturally packed sources of nutrients that can be incorporated into most meals and snacks, and are essential for keeping our hearts and bodies healthy.”

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