Struggling with the battle of the bulge? Don’t despair, with the right vegetables you can eat as much as you want and not gain a pound. However, you must exercise caution in choosing the vegetables that are low in calories. What are these low calorie vegetables? The following types of vegetables are great to eat if you’re on a diet or want to lose weight. They include: carrots, cucumbers, radishes, fresh green beans, celery, cauliflower, cabbage, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms and lettuce. Clearly, you don’t have to go all green when you’re on a vegetable diet. These choices not only contain the least amount of calories, but are packed with essential nutrients as well.
If you are on a low carbohydrate diet you may have heard that munching on vegetables is the way to go. However, just as there are vegetables that contain low and high calories, there are also vegetables that are low and high in carbohydrates. Vegetables that are low in carbohydrates include: sprouts, leafy greens, broccoli, mushrooms, avocado, peppers, summer squash, scallions, asparagus, bamboo shoots, leeks, eggplants, artichoke hearts, okra and more. Of course, low calorie vegetables are also low in carbohydrates so you can take your pick. So as not to ruin your diet, you might want to initially stay away from vegetables that are starchy and high in carbohydrates. These include: beets, corn, parsnips, peas, all types of potatoes and winter squashes.
Other types of vegetables that should be included in your diet are those full of fiber. Though vegetables in general are good sources of fiber, there are certain types of vegetables that contain more fiber than others. Examples of fiber-rich vegetables include: brussel sprouts, carrots, beans, peas, and spinach. Other good sources of soluble fiber are cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower. Soluble fiber helps keep you feeling full and therefore makes it easier for you to resist eating too much food.
Vegetables are generally helpful if you are on a diet; but, observing the right serving sizes will help accelerate the results you want to see. The National Cancer Institute has recommended certain serving sizes for different types of vegetables. The recommended serving size if you are eating raw non-leafy vegetables or cooked vegetables is half a cup. If you are eating raw leafy vegetables, the recommended serving size is one cup. If cooked beans or peas are what you’re having for a meal, the recommended serving size you should eat is half a cup.
When you pick out vegetables, try to go to the organic produce section. If you can’t get organically grown produce, then exercise caution by washing your vegetables thoroughly. Vegetables that are not organically grown contain pesticides which are harmful to your health. Of course when you are picking out vegetables you’ll want to choose the freshest available. You can tell vegetables are fresh if they are brightly colored and blemish-free or have the least amount of blemishes. In season vegetables are guaranteed to be fresh, so plan your meals around vegetables growing at certain times of the year. You shouldn’t plan on storing vegetables for too long. Buy only the vegetables you plan to eat within a few days and discard vegetables that have been stored too long.
When you eat vegetables, try to leave as much edible skin on them as possible. The skins on vegetables contain their own nutrients which can benefit your health. Eating vegetables raw is also a good idea as cooking them can take away some of their valuable nutrients while adding unwanted fat from the oil used. Vegetables are quick and cheap alternatives to fatty foods. Because they are low in fat, cholesterol, sodium and calories vegetables have been advocated to dieters for a long time.