More fruit and veg reduces mortality. 7-a-day?

 For years we've known 400g a day of fruit and vegetables has been linked to improved health for cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancers. That's how the well known 5 a day message started - 5 portions of fruit or vegetables of 80g each makes up the total.

However another study has found that eating more had greater benefits. 
Researchers from University College London looked at the diets of 65000 people in England between 2001 and 2013. They found that risk of death from all causes was reduced compared to having just one portion of fruit by these factors: 
7 or more fruit and vegetables - 42% 
5-7 portions 36%
1-3 portions 14%
Deaths from cancer reduced by 25%, Heart disease by 31%
We've had figures like this from other studies over the years. Other countries have higher guidance figures for fruit and vegetables. Typically those countries already have vegetables in part of their normal cuisine, so it's easier to have higher levels, particularly in meals that need lots of vegetables to make up the main dish. The Mediterranean countries for example not only always have salad alongside meals but also use lots of vegetables beans and pulses in their standard recipes, even though meat may also be part of that dish. 
However in the UK things are different with the meat and two veg type meals, or fast foods grabbed on the go. Here less than a third of adults meet the five a day figure currently and the levels are even less for children. 
So what do we make of this latest research? It's not time for us to change guideline numbers, noting here that our current five a day advice is one that sets this as the minimum figure to achieve in a day. 
 One thing is clear - eating plenty of vegetables and some fruit is still good advice. As for the actual levels - just eat lots! The actual numbers are less important.  And if you aren't eating many, work out how to up things compared to what you have now. 
Have a fruit alongside your cereal, some salad alongside your lunch and add in plenty of vegetables to your main meals. And I always opt for whole vegetables and fruit rather than smoothies and dried fruit as they keep you fuller for longer without eating excess amounts of sugar. 
Basing your plate on a good source of protein, a small portion of complex carbohydrates and then packing half your plate with vegetables and salad is a good thing to do to keep your total calories down if you want to keep a check on weight too.