The 800 Gram Challenge (#800gChallenge®) is a tool to guide healthy eating. It provides a metric to evaluate “clean” eating. Instead of saying one is eating “clean” – we can now measure it. While the metric can be used as a nutrition challenge of a specific length, it also can be applied as a daily “challenge” to one’s day-to-day choices for any length of time.
The 800 Gram Challenge (#800gChallenge®) does not give the individual specific targets in terms of protein, fat, or carbohydrate grams. That is up to the individual based on their food choices. (The individual can also continue to eat anything else they want in the diet; nothing is eliminated!). Eight-hundred grams is the mass of fruits and vegetables consumed each day in any preparation style – fresh, cooked, frozen, or canned (in water, drained). The specific “rules” developed for applying this as a diet method can be found here. Or if you want a handy one-sheet (pictured below) of all the rules, go here.
Why 800 grams? Because Aune et al. (2017) found it was associated with better health outcomes and this volume also meets or exceeds multiple other fruit and vegetable recommendations (e.g., USDA). See more on the “why” and benefits here.
The idea for the 800-gram total started by my review of research by Aune et al. (2017), but the diet “rules” should not be interpreted as study findings (e.g., beans are included in the #800gChallenge® but Aune et al. did not include them in that study, any fruits and vegetables are allowed in any relative quantities). It also cannot be concluded that 800-grams is the optimum number for everyone; it is simply a tool to measure “healthy” eating. In addition, the authors Aune, D. et al and the International Journal of Epidemiology have no affiliation with and have not endorsed or approved the #800gChallenge® diet and/or OptimizeMe LLC or its products or services.
Aune, D., Giovannucci, E., Boffetta, P., Fadness, L.T., Keum, N., Norat, T., … Tonstad, S. (2017). Fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality-a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. International Journal of Epidemiology, 46(3), 1029-1056. doi: 10.1093/ije/dyw319