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The Informer
23rd August 2011, 11:16 PM
Overview
Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help you lower your risk of diseases like heart disease or cancer. Fruits and vegetables are rich in minerals and vitamins that can help strengthen your immune system as well as help you feel more energetic throughout the day. Additionally, fruits and vegetables are rich in phytochemicals, compounds found in plants, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in the body. Aside from their many healthy benefits, fruits and vegetables, particularly nonstarchy vegetables, can also help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.

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Weight Loss
In order to lose weight, your caloric intake must be lower than your caloric expenditure. In other words, you have to eat fewer calories than what your body uses every day. However, that doesn't mean that you need to feel hungry or eat less food. Eating fruits and vegetables can help you lose weight in several ways. They are low in calories but rich in fiber, which increases their volume, making you feel fuller for longer. They also have a low glycemic load, which prevents your blood glucose from spiking too quickly, which can help keep sweet cravings in check. Finally, eating plenty of vegetables and fruits helps displace foods associated with weight gain such as red and processed meats, fats, high-fat sweets and fast foods.

Daily Servings of Vegetables
Vegetables, especially nonstarchy vegetables, are very low in calories, with around 25 calories per serving. Because of this, you should not limit how many servings of nonstarchy vegetables you eat. It is recommended that you eat five servings of nonstarchy vegetables every day. Nonstarchy vegetables are those that contain no starch or sugar molecules, such as most green vegetables. They are usually lower in carbohydrates and calories and higher in fiber. One serving of nonstarchy vegetables equals 1/2 cup of fresh, frozen or canned vegetables; 1 cup of raw, leafy vegetables like spinach or lettuce; or 1/2 cup of vegetable juice. At about 80 calories per serving, starchy vegetables, such as parsnips, potatoes and corn, have higher carbohydrate and sugar loads. If you are trying to lose weight, try to limit your starchy vegetable intake to one to three servings per day.

Daily Servings of Fruits
Fruits are a little higher in calories than nonstarchy vegetables. Each serving of fruit contains about 60 calories. Because of this, it is recommended that you eat only two or three servings of fruit per day if you want to lose weight. One fruit serving equals 1/2 cup of cut-up fruit, such as pineapple; 1/4 cup of dried fruit, such as prunes; a small banana or medium peach; 1 cup of berries; or 1/2 cup of unsweetened fruit juice.

Ways to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
There are many simple changes you can do in order to increase your fruit and vegetable intake throughout the day. You can eat them as breakfast, to lighten your lunch or dinner, and as healthy snacks. One example is to have a whole-wheat toast, but instead of using butter, using 1 teaspoon of peanut butter and banana slices. Also, instead of a sandwich or burrito, you can have a salad bowl with lettuce, beans, peppers, onions, tomato and corn. It will be more filling, with fewer calories. Another way to go is to fill three-fourths of your plate with plant-based foods--ideally non-starchy vegetables or legumes--and only one-fourth with meat, poultry or fish. Finally, as an afternoon snack, try having an apple or celery sticks with hummus instead of a pastry. Fruits and vegetables as snacks will also provide you with energy, but are much less calorie-dense.

JosephPratt
29th August 2011, 10:07 AM
In order to lose weight you should have a low calorie diet.Eating fruit & veggies makes you healthy and provides nourishment.