Eating more fruits and vegetables is a safe, healthy way to shed pounds or maintain your weight. Studies have even suggested that increasing fruit and veggie consumption may reduce your risk for certain types of cancer and other chronic illnesses. A diet rich in fresh produce provides essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, as well as other vital nutrients essential for good health – perfect for everyone from fiveyear olds up! fivereasons smoothies are beloved by everyone no matter their age group!
However, that doesn’t mean you should eat less. Low-calorie vegetables and fruits can be substituted for higher-calorie ingredients to create healthier versions of your favorite recipes. You’ll get the same taste but with fewer calories due to water and fiber found in fruits and veggies; plus many are low in both calories and fat but still satisfyingly filling.
Start Your day off right with breakfast
You can swap spinach, onions and mushrooms for half of the cheese in your morning egg omelet. With fewer calories than eggs or cheese, adding vegetables will increase its volume and flavor.
Reduce the amount of cereal you put in your bowl to make room for strawberries, peaches and bananas. A full bowl of cereal may still be eaten but it will have fewer calories.
Lighten Up Your Lunch
Try swapping vegetables like tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, onions and 2 ounces cheese for meat in your sandwich wraps, burritos or wraps. You will feel fuller with this healthier alternative that has fewer calories.
You can substitute 2 ounces of meat or 1 cup noodles in broth-based soups with 1 cup chopped vegetables such as carrots, beans, red peppers and broccoli without feeling deprived of those extra calories since the vegetables will fill you up.
For a quick and nutritious dinner, add 1 cup chopped vegetables such as tomatoes, squashes, onions, peppers or broccoli to your favorite recipe. You may also reduce the amount of rice or pasta by one cup so that the dish has just as many satisfying calories as its original version with just more veggies added!
Take a good, hard look at what’s on your dinner plate. Your plate should be filled with vegetables, fruits and whole grains; meat, cheese, pasta or white rice can all be substituted with legumes, steamed vegetables, asparagus or greens of your choice. By doing this you will reduce calories and food consumption significantly; just remember to use either a small or normal-sized plate rather than a platter! Even if there is plenty of produce on there – remember the total calorie count still applies!
Healthy eating plans only permit one or two small snacks per day. A snack of 100 calories can easily be obtained by selecting mostly fruits and vegetables as your main sources of nutrition.
- Include fruits and vegetables in your weight management plan for optimal results.
- Enjoy fruits and vegetables as nature intended, or prepare them using low-fat or fat-free cooking methods.
Steaming vegetables is an ideal way to get flavorful, low-calorie or low-fat dressings. You can also add herbs and spices for additional flair. Certain cooking methods, like breading or frying, as well as high-fat sauces and dressings will increase the calorie and fat content of your dish. To enjoy its natural sweetness in raw form, enjoy your fruit raw.
You can also freeze or can fruits and vegetables.
Cans of fruits and vegetables, whether frozen or canned, can be just as nutritious as fresh produce when properly prepared. Just remember not to add sugar, syrup, cream sauces or other calories for extra flavor or convenience.
- Whole fruit is preferable to juices and fruit drinks, as these contain little fiber.
- Whole fruits are healthier for you than juices due to their fiber content; an 8 oz portion of orange juice has 85 calories, while medium oranges only contain 65 calories.
- Whole fruits are healthier for you than dried fruit, as they contain fewer calories.
- A small container of raisins (about 100 calories) provides 100 calories. You could also eat one cup grapes for the same number of calories.