Does eating more fruits and vegetables per day impact mortality rates from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other causes? 

Question:

Does eating more fruits and vegetables per day impact all-cause mortality as well as mortality rates from cardiovascular disease and cancer. And how much more makes a difference?

Conclusion:

One extra serving of fruits and vegetables a day reduces the risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease-related mortality. Each additional serving further reduces risk, up to 5 additional servings.

Process:

  • 16 of 5632 studies qualified for analysis
  • Selected prospective studies with follow-ups between 4-26 years
  • Study quality ranked on a 9-point scale; average rating was 7.1

Analysis:

  • One serving = ~2.75 oz
  • Measures: survival and mortality risk based on fruit and vegetable intake for all-cause mortality, cardiovascular-related mortality, and cancer-related mortality

Results:

For an increase of one serving of fruits and vegetables per day:

  • 5% lower risk of all-cause mortality

All-cause mortality average reduced risk, compared to people who consumed no fruits or vegetables:

  • 1 serving = 8% reduced risk
  • 2 servings = 15% reduced risk
  • 3 servings = 21% reduced risk
  • 4 servings = 26% reduced risk
  • 5 servings = 26% reduced risk

For cardiovascular-related mortality, average reduced risk:

  • 4% for each serving of fruits and vegetables
  • 5% for each serving of fruits
  • 4% for each serving of vegetables

Other Information:

  • No measurable impact on cancer-related mortality
  • Studies do not account for other dietary factors, like saturated fat intake
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