Why Vegetables are the Star of Your Diet

Vegetables truly are the stars of a healthy, nutritious diet. Countless scientific studies have shown that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can decrease your risk of diseases such as stroke, heart disease and some cancers. That’s because plants contain vitamins, minerals and many other compounds that enhance our bodies’ ability to stay healthy.

What makes veggies and fruits even more appealing are that they help you lose weight without feeling hungry. Why? Except for a handful of starchy vegetables like potatoes, peas and corn, most vegetables have a very low energy density. Which means you can (and should!) eat very large amounts of veggies without all the calories. A rule of thumb I try to stick every day is to eat at least 2 cups of salad greens, 4 cups of other non-starchy veggies and half a cup of fruit.

Want to try upping the amount of veggies and fruits you eat daily? Follow these helpful tips:

  • Serve yourself at least 1 cup of non-starchy veggies to help with portion control. You’ve probably heard that portion control is the key to weight loss. Eat less, weigh less! While that may be true for energy dense foods like starches and fats, when it comes to veggies, more really is better.
  • Start at least one meal per day with a large salad. Have at least 2 cups of greens and top it with tomatoes, onions, sweet peppers and any other veggie that you like. Measure out 2 tablespoons of low-fat dressing or 1 tablespoon of regular dressing. You will likely discover that you won’t feel the need to eat as much for the rest of your meal.
  • Toss 4 or 5 cups of diced zucchini with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Season with any spices you like. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Eat half with your dinner and save the rest for an egg white omelet breakfast.
  • Craving for something sweet? Have an apple or a cup of berries instead of that cookie or candy bar.
  • If you’re feeling the midday munchies, grab some cherry tomatoes, carrots, green or red peppers, cauliflower, broccoli or celery sticks. Dip them in hummus or pair with a piece of low-fat cheese for a crunchy, healthy and satisfying snack.

Making veggies the star of your diet will not only keep you feeling full longer, but also make your diet healthier. Do you have any fun veggie recipes to share? I welcome new ways to incorporate veggies in my meals!

-Joy


Zestar co-founder and dedicated Zestar app user Joy Solomon was inspired by her weight loss struggles with diet after diet that did not bring results. Guided by her scientific education and extensive medical and health information background (including CEO of IVI Publishing, the creator of the highly acclaimed Mayo Clinic health information website), Joy delved into the science of weight loss to bring Zestar to life. Join her on her weight loss journey as she blogs about tips and insights that can help you be successful on your weight loss journey too. Read Joy's full bio.

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