Everyone knows that diet and exercise go a long ways towards maintaining a healthy weight. However, with all of the junk food within reach, most of us have forgotten how to maintain a healthy weight.
Saturated fats and empty calories have become a major part of our diet. There’s no doubt about it.
Getting started on the path of healthy eating requires a major psychological, emotional, and physical revamp.
The trouble with an unhealthy diet, aside from the excess pounds, is that it wreaks havoc on your blood sugar, causing an energy spike and dip rather erratically throughout the day. This, in turn, promotes unhealthy snacking and binging. There you can fall into the vicious cycle of an unhealthy diet.
Below are some simple ways you can use fruits and vegetables to maintain a healthy weight:
Eat 10 portions of fruits and vegetables a day!
A study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology reveals that eating 10 portions of fruits and vegetables can dramatically decrease the chance of disease.
Researchers also predict that 7.8 million premature deaths could be prevented if everyone went ahead and ate 10 portions of fruits and vegetables a day.
How do you make sure you get your 10 a day? Before that you need to know what 10 portions a day really looks like.
If one portion is 80g, then 10 portions is 800g.
Now that you know what 10 portions of fruits and vegetables look like, it’s time to see how you can achieve 10 portions of fruits and vegetables a day.
Eat a normal breakfast, but include a glass of orange juice or a quick smoothie using frozen fruit without excess sugar or sodium.
Mid-morning is the perfect time to cram in some extra fruits and vegetables. Munch on your favorite raw vegetables – cherry tomatoes, button mushrooms, carrots, and broccoli.
Have a fruit or vegetable salad with lunch or you can also put vegetables on your sandwiches, such as cucumber, sprout, tomato or avocado.
Ditch the biscuits for fresh melon slices or a small pack of dried raisins.
Indulge in a spicy chili or hearty winter casserole packed full of seasonal vegetables!
Plate different colored fruits and vegetables – just like a rainbow!
It sounds absurd, doesn’t it?
Having a plate full of different fruits and vegetables is a technique that was originally developed as a way to get fussy kids to eat more fruits and vegetables.
All you have to do is make sure you eat at least one or two servings from each color group each day to meet your daily fruit and vegetable needs.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, red fruits and vegetables, such as strawberries, cherries, raspberries, watermelon, tomatoes, and beets are likely to be rich in the antioxidants lycopene and anthocyanins.
Lycopene and anthocyanins are the powerful, healthy antioxidants that fight heart disease and prostate cancer.
Think about any orange colored food. Now ask yourself, “ Is that food delicious?” The answer will be yes. This is because the food is orange.
But, did you know orange foods also have protective health benefits?
Orange foods are rich in alpha-carotene and beta-carotene, which your body converts into vitamin A that is important for healthy skin, a strong immune system, and good eye health and vision.
Like orange food, yellow foods also have an abundance of beta-carotene, which does wonders for your body. In addition, they also have zeaxanthin, flavonoids, and lycopene, which you will not get in other fruits and vegetables.
The nutrients present in yellow foods reduce your risk of developing inflammatory disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis. Plus, it also helps in creating stronger bones and teeth.
Since childhood, we have been drilled with the phrase “eat your greens”. And that’s because green foods are packed full of fiber, minerals, and vitamins, which can protect you from many types of cancer, promote vision health and maintain strong bones and teeth.
According to a recent study, green foods are a great source of phytonutrients and also have great healing powers.
Green foods are also packed with fiber and water that help you regulate your blood sugar levels throughout the day.
Blue and Purple
Blue and purple colored foods contain anthocyanins, powerful antioxidants, which help protect cells from damage and can also reduce the risk of cancer, strokes, and heart disease.
In addition, it also helps reduce blood pressure and enhance physical performance.
According to a Dutch research, people with a high intake of white fruits and vegetables had a 52 percent lower risk of strokes.
White fruits and vegetables, including apples, pears, bananas, cauliflower, and cucumbers, are high in dietary fiber, helping protect you from high cholesterol, and antioxidant-rich flavonoids, such as quercetin, which is abundant in apples and pears.
Substitute unhealthy food with fruits and veggies
Fruits and vegetables are lower in calories than many other foods. When consumed regularly, they help you maintain a good healthy weight.
There’s no doubt about it.
To maintain a healthy weight we have to balance our overall calorie intake by substituting unhealthy food options with fruits and vegetables.
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration, a low-calorie food is any food that is 40 calories or less per serving.
Below are some low-calorie fruits and vegetables that you can use to substitute unhealthy food.
Asparagus is one of the richest sources of folate that is used to treat anemia caused by folic acid deficiency.
One cup of Asparagus contains 27 calories.
Broccoli is a great choice for a weight lose diet because it contain 31 calories and provide you with a source of essential nutrients including iron, vitamin C, folate, vitamin A, and vitamin K.
The “grapefruit diet” has been a topic of discussion for some time now, and people have been trying to discern the health benefits of grapefruit as part of a daily diet routine.
A half of a grapefruit provides you with 37 calories, which is good to maintain health. Plus, grapefruits are an excellent source of vitamin C.
Tangerines, which are in the mandarin orange family, contain about 40 calories per small fruit.
Because they belong to the orange family, tangerines provide a significant amount of vitamin C. Plus, this fruit is a healthy snack choice and a great addition to salads.
Choose whole fruit over fruit drinks
Fruit juices may taste better than the whole fruit, however, it is important to know that they do not offer the same health benefits.
The juices lose the fiber content which is the key ingredient that fruits give us. Surprisingly, a single serving of orange juice has about 85 calories compared to a medium orange that has 65 calories.
Therefore, it is best to pick the whole fruit.
Go for fresh and avoid canned vegetables
Canned fruits and vegetables may be a great idea for those people who come home after a tough day of work. But for those who want to maintain a healthy weight, it’s not a good choice.
There are two reasons why you should not choose canned fruits and vegetables.
You don’t need to worry about the sodium content of fresh vegetables, but canned vegetables pose a sodium risk if you are on a low-salt diet for health reasons.
Don’t believe us? Read this!
One state health agency concerned about the amount of sodium in commercial food took a look at canned tomatoes to illustrate the difference. The agency found that regular canned tomatoes had 15 times as much sodium as reduced-sodium canned tomatoes.
Check the ingredients of canned vegetables before you eat them because they carry high levels of sodium.
Bisphenol or BPA
Bisphenol is an industrial compound used by food manufacturers to protect food from metal corrosion and bacteria. Well! From the point of view of food manufacturers, this sounds good.
But for dieters, BPA is linked to endocrine disorders, heart disease, and cancer. That’s not all.
One group of scientists discovered levels of BPAs in canned foods that were 200 times the level proclaimed by the U.S. government as safe. So, better be aware!
One of the best options is to try and include vegetables, which are fresh and natural.
As you can see, maintaining a healthy weight is not too hard. By eating a variety of fruits and vegetables a day, you will not only look and feel better, but you will give your body many essential nutrients that it needs to maintain your overall long-term health.