It’s a familiar debate. Someone makes a comment about the healthy vegetables they’re eating, only to be derisively scorned by another.
“Tomato, avocado and cucumber? You’re eating fruits, not veggies!”
And if you’re trying to stick to the 2 fruit, 5 veg per day, what counts as fruit and what counts as veg? Are tomatoes really part of your fruit quota instead?
So here we come straight up against the difference between popular opinion, and scientific definition.
Scientists define fruit as the part of the plant that develops from the flower, and surrounds the seeds. So if it has seeds inside (think tomatoes, avocado, cucumber, even peas and beans), it is botanically classified as a fruit.
On the other hand, a vegetable is the non-flowering part of a plant. This could be eating leaves, such as lettuce and spinach; or stems, in the case of celery or rhubarb; roots, thinking of carrots and potatoes, our root veggies.
Now the confusion comes in with the popular perception of fruit and veg. Fruit being fairly sweet and veggies not so much. And our recommend 2 serves of fruit refers to the sweeter fruit, and the 5 veg can definitely include your tomatoes and avocado. Part of the reason why there’s a difference in the first place is that a standard serve of fruit is about 150 grams, compared to a standard veggie serve of 75 grams, so you’re actually intaking a similar amount of each every day while following the 2:5 rule of thumb.
Both fruit and veg are full of nutrients and important in a healthy lifestyle, so go ahead and eat as much as you like!