Friday, April 3, 2009

Can Fruit and Vegetables Help Weight Loss?

A recent study in Brazil says yes. The study was published in Nutrition Research, Issue 28, 2008. Over a six month study period they found that increasing the fruit, vegetable and fibre content of the diet resulted in greater weight loss than the control group. They also found that an increase in intake of vitamins C and B6, B-carotene and folate were also associated with weight loss.

Other benefits besides weight loss

Fruit and vegetables are packed full of nutrients that your body is crying out for. Eating the right amounts of fruits and vegetables help to prevent:
  • stroke
  • heart disease
  • hypertension
They also
  • improve vascular function
  • promote weight loss
  • improve blood pressure
  • reduce risk of diabetes

Statistics published in a British medical journal, The Lancet, show that eating 3 -5 servings of fruit and vegetables per day give an 11% reduction in the risk of stroke over people who eat less than three servings. Those who eat more than 5 servings per day have a 26% reduction.

Undoubtedly there are other benefits than those I have just listed. Although, even if that were all, it would be enough to take notice and think about how much fruit and vegetables we really eat.

Use fruit for snacks

If you are trying to lose weight you will not want to just add extra fruit and vegetables to what you are already eating. Think about which foods you are eating that have empty calories. That is, for the amount of calories that they add to your diet, they are low on nutrients. Some examples of this would be chips, soft drinks, lollies and sweets, cakes etc. You get the idea? Eating fruit and vegetables instead of this type of food is a good start to a healthier life.

Feel like a snack? Have a bowl of fruit handy.

Hints of adding more fruit and vegetables to your diet
  • Keep fruit and vegetables where you can see them easily.
  • Use frozen vegetables and precut, prewashed fresh produce if it makes it easier.
  • Experiment with sauces, dressings, spice blends and nuts to go with them.
  • Try fruit smoothies, juice, banana or fresh fruit in cereals for breakfast.
  • Add vegetables to casseroles and soups.
  • Drink vegetable juices
  • Create salads. Use tomatoes, red peppers, carrots, and other brightly coloured vegetables to go with the leafy greens.
  • Berries, fresh or frozen are a great dessert.
The list could go on. There are so many ways of enjoying fruit and vegetables. If you have a favourite recipe or way of using fruit or vegetables please share it with us by leaving a comment.

Eat you way to good health


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