Dieters know that vegetables are good for them since they’re not only low in calories but also provide many essential nutrients as well as antioxidants, but not all dieters know the full health benefits they receive from eating a diet rich in vegetables.
Health Benefits Of A Diet Rich In Vegetables For Weight Loss
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), “People who eat more fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases”. For example, vegetables have been proven to help reduce the risk of the following:
- cardiovascular disease
- type-2 diabetes
- coronary heart disease
- kidney stones
- certain cancers of the stomach, mouth, and colon
The Different Categories Of Vegetables
According to choosemyplate.gov, vegetables are divided into five different categories, and these categories include the following:
- Dark green vegetables such as spinach, collards, broccoli, lettuce, and kale.
- Orange vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, squash, and pumpkin.
- Dry beans and peas such as pinto beans, black eye peas, tofu, split peas, and soybeans.
- Starchy vegetables such as corn, potatoes, green lima beans, and green peas.
- Other vegetables such as onions, tomatoes, asparagus, okra, and mushrooms.
Eating Vegetables For Fast Weight Loss And Easy Weight Control
On top of all their other benefits, vegetables can help dieters not only lose weight faster but also keep it off if they continue consuming a diet rich in vegetables after they’ve reach their desired weight loss. For example, a cup of celery contains only 16 calories, a cup of broccoli 40 calories, a cup of cooked carrots 46 calories, and a cup of summer squash 30 calories.
On the other hand, some vegetables are a bit higher in calories; for instance, the average-sized russet baking potato (approximately three inches in diameter) contains 150 calories, and the average baked sweet potato has 155 calories. There are, though, many delicious low-calorie potato recipes so weight watchers should not ban potatoes from their diets.
Recommended Daily Allowance Of Vegetables For A Healthy Diet
What amount of vegetables should a person consume each day? According to the USDA, the amount depends upon a person’s “age, sex, and level of physical activity.” On average, though, women need to eat from two to two-and-a-half cups per day, and men, from two-and-a-half to three cups daily. This recommended daily allowance, however, is “approximate for individuals who get less than 30 minutes per day of moderate physical activity, beyond normal daily activities. Those who are more physically active may be able to consume more while staying within calorie needs” (choosemyplate.gov).
How to Cook Vegetables for Maximum Health Benefits
In order to receive the maximum health benefits from vegetables, dieters need to keep certain guidelines in mind:
- Whenever possible, cook vegetables whole and without removing their peels or leaves since the peels and leaves are especially rich in vitamins and other nutrients.
- When selecting vegetables, remember, the darker the color, the higher a vegetable’s nutritional content.
- When cooking vegetables, use as little water as possible since many of the nutrients will be lost in the water.
- Do not overcook vegetables but cook them in the shortest possible time since overcooking results in nutritional loss.
- Serve prepared vegetables as soon as possible after cooking since they will lose some nutritional value during refrigeration.
In summary, if dieters consume more vegetables, they will lose those unwanted pounds and do so healthily, but in the process, they will gain maximum health benefits. Moreover, there are myriad delicious low calorie vegetable recipes available to help dieters incorporate more vegetables into their diets by preparing dishes that not only they will enjoy but also their families and even dinner guests.