A survey of over 500 consumers released today has shown that vegetables are considered the most healthy food type by Australians, beating fruit, nuts, pulses, seafood and meat, amongst others.

“Vegetables received an overwhelming endorsement for their perceived health benefits, and this demonstrates a strong consumer sentiment for Australian vegetable produce,” said Andrew White, Manager of Industry Development and Communications at AUSVEG.

“The key for our industry will be to determine the best way for producers to communicate specific health benefits of different vegetables to customers to increase consumption.  There has been a recent industry project completed on this that educates growers about the specific health claims that can be made about different products,” said Mr White.

The survey showed that vegetables received an average health rating of nine out of ten, with the next best being fruit (8.5/10), nuts (7.8/10) and pulses (7.8/10).

As part of the detailed research on consumer vegetable purchasing, consumers were asked to rate how healthy they perceived a variety of different food types to be. Interestingly, women perceived vegetables, nuts and pulses to be significantly healthier than men, while males perceived wheat to be significantly healthier than females.

“Guidelines produced by the National Health and Medical Research Council show that eating a range of coloured vegetables may be an easy way to access a higher intake of a range of important nutrients, essential fatty acids and dietary fibres, just to name a few,” said Mr White.

The official rankings for the perceived health of the different food types were:
1. Vegetables (9.0/10)
2. Fruit (8.5/10)
3. Nuts (7.8/10)
Pulses (7.8/10)
4. Seafood (7.6/10)
5. Chicken (7.0/10)
Dairy (7.0/10)
6. Beef (6.6/10)
7. Wheat (6.5/10)
8. Soy (6.3/10)

AUSVEG is Australia’s leading horticulture body representing 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.  The research project has been funded through HAL using the National Vegetable Levy and matched funds from the Australian Government. 

MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew White, Manager of Industry Development and Communications, AUSVEG; Phone: (03) 9882 0277 Mobile: 0409 989 575 E-mail: andrew.white@ausveg.com.au