I have lately been thinking about the cliche that your plate should look like a “rainbow.” Frankly, I think it’s bad advice. If your plate is colorful, that’s fine, but there’s no need that I know of for your plate to be a rainbow. Most days, I get my 5-11 servings of veggies and fruits, and I eat enough variety that I have no reason to believe I’m missing out on certain vitamins. Very rarely do I ever pass the rainbow litmus test. My morning smoothie has whatever frozen fruit I got (sometimes berry medley, sometimes a cherry berry blend), apples lately (because I’ve been getting a lot in my produce box), lettuce I got in my produce box, and banana. Then it’s all blended into a purplish or pinkish sludge. Sometimes it looks bright, sometimes it has a weird gray tint to it. I think it’s healthy and vitamin-filled every single time though regardless of how bright and colorful it is! I am more likely to use a mix of veggies at dinner time, but I don’t think someone who focuses on one non-starchy veggie is eating unhealthily! Let’s say dinner veggies are potatoes and steamed broccoli. There’s nothing bad or wrong about that. Both broccoli and potatoes are healthy! And even when I have a a few different veggies (or items nutritionally considered veggies), it’s not that colorful. I might have zucchini, asparagus, snap peas, green onions, and mushrooms in a stir-fry. You mean, it’s all green and BROWN? Eeek, brown food! So what? I had my red-purpley stuff at breakfast. I’m not going to die of malnutrition, you know?
I was just thinking that telling people this might be more discouraging than encouraging. Like yet another thing they have to strive for that makes them never even try. A lot of people struggle even getting a couple of servings of fruits and veggies in a day so don’t put the bar so unnecessarily high (looking at your Dr. Greger, and your ridiculous daily checklist). Yes, different colors mean different vitamins but not every meal needs to be a cornucopia of produce!
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