Let’s face it: dieting can be the pits. Although many of today’s weight-loss trends offer much more flexibility as to what we can and can’t eat, the portions often leave a lot to be desired.
So, what’s the secret to eating more and gaining less? Eat plenty of fruits and veggies! We’ve all heard how daily servings of fruits and vegetables can work wonders for our health but many of us are unaware of just how effective fruits and vegetables can be at helping us shed some of that unwanted weight.
Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in calories, so you can eat larger servings and better satisfy hunger, without the excess calories that lead to weight gain. Fruits and veggies also help you feel fuller, longer. A lunchtime snack consisting of handful of potato chips and a 12oz can of soda amounts to a whopping 300 calories, while a heaping bowl of strawberries and a glass of water weighs in at less than half of that, with only 130 calories.
Fruits and vegetables contain essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that aid in lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and significantly reduce the risk of developing type II diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. In order to enjoy a long and healthy existence, it’s important to incorporate daily servings of fruits and vegetables into our diets to offset some of the fatty, calorie-dense foods that we consume on a day-to-day basis.
According to the USDA, it is suggested that men and women get at least 2 cups of fruit a day and two and a half cups of vegetables per day, based on a 2,000 calorie diet. There are many ways for us to get out daily servings of fruits and vegetables and experts say that some may be more effective than others:
- Fresh VS. Frozen and Canned Fruits and Vegetables – Fresh is always your best bet. Some food manufacturing companies package their fruit in syrups to preserve flavour and many of these calorie-rich substances can be a sticky situation to someone trying to watch their weight.
- Fruit Juice – Don’t let the word “natural” fool you. Just because the sugars found in juice is naturally occurring doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily “good” for you. Although, they’re rich in essential vitamins and minerals, many of these beverages claiming to be “100% fruit juice” are packed with more sugar than most sodas.
- Vegetable Juice – Where fruit juice is loaded with sugar, vegetable juices are often riddled with sodium. Not so much of a calorie concern, but certainly something to be considered in moderation.