Vegetables For Healthy Diet and Weight
Vegetables Are Good For Weight Loss
Vegetable foods are perfect for weight control. They are low in calories, rich in dietary fiber to boost satiety levels, make great snacks and are full of dietary nutrients to help maintain an efficient metabolism. An ideal food option for anyone interested in weight loss or weight maintenance.
Nutritional Benefits of Vegetables
Fresh vegetables (raw, cooked or frozen) are one of the richest sources of vitamins and some important minerals. To help prevent vitamin deficiency, the World Health organisation (WHO) recommends a minimum daily intake of five portions of vegetables and fruits. For optimum nutritional intake, weekly consumption of specific amounts from each of five vegetable subgroups (dark green, orange, dry beans, starchy, and other vegetables) is recommended, as each subgroup provides a different array of nutrients.
Vegetables (eg. carrots, sweet-potatoes, and pumpkin, tomatoes, red sweet pepper, spinach, collards, turnip greens, kale, beet and mustard greens, green leaf lettuce, and romaine) contain vitamin A (beta-carotene). They also contain B-complex micronutrients, vitamins C, E and K. Vegetables such as cooked dry beans and peas, deep green leaves like spinach and mustard greens are useful sources of folate. Vegetables are also excellent sources of phytochemicals – the protective plant micronutrients like the carotenoids lycopene and lutein.
Several studies show that populations with diets that are rich in vegetables have a significantly lower risk of heart disease, cancers and high blood pressure. Such diets also help reduce the risk of diverticulitis, and protect against cataract and macular degeneration, the major cause of loss of vision among people over age 65.
Vegetables To Eat in a 1600 Calorie Weight Loss Diet
The latest Dietary Guidelines (2005) recommend 3-4 servings of vegetables per day. According to the suggested diet plans, one serving is equivalent to:
– 1 cup raw leafy vegetable
– 1/2 cup cooked vegetable (or chopped raw)
– 6 oz vegetable juice
In the USDA Food Guide at the reference 1600-calorie level, the following weekly amounts are recommended:
– Dark green vegetables: 2 cups
– Orange vegetables: 1.5 cups
– Legumes (dry beans): 2.5 cups
– Starchy vegetables: 2.5 cups
– Other vegetables: 5.5 cups