Centre every single meal you eat on fresh fruit and/or vegetables. Make them the main dish – not the garnish!
The ‘five a day’ programs adopted by many governments around the world, to promote the consumption of five serves of fruit and vegetables per day, are so passé!
In case you’re wondering, a serving equals ½ cup. So if you’re following the guidelines, you’d be eating five ½ cups of fruit and vegetables per day. Sound like a lot? Just for fun, I decided to measure how much fruit and vegetables I eat on an average day.
Breakfast: a fruit salad of pear, apple, banana, mandarin and kiwifruit, topped with a ‘yoghurt’ made from frozen strawberries blended with hemp milk, flaxseed and dates, delivered 2 cups.
Lunch: a salad of lettuce, coriander, tomato, cucumber, carrot, broccoli sprouts and capsicum totalled 2½ cups. So my running tally is already up to the 4½ cups recommended and it’s only lunchtime!
Dinner: eggplant, lentil and tofu paté served with a variety of vegetable sticks and slices came to another 2½ cups of vegetables.
Dessert: stewed apple and rhubarb added another ½ cup.
Total for the day: 7½cups (15 serves) of fruit and vegetables – more than twice the Australian government recommendation!
What do I achieve with such a high intake of fruits and vegetables?
- Because fruits and vegetables have low energy density (calories/kilojoules per unit weight of food), I take in far fewer calories than if I was loading up on animal products or energy-dense processed carbohydrate foods such as bread and pasta. I can maintain my ideal weight easily and without ‘dieting’ because there’s no need to restrict the volume of food I’m eating; I can eat large portions and feel completely satisfied after every meal.
- Because fruits and vegetables have high nutrient per kilojoule/calorie density (more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals for each kilojoule/calorie of food intake), I get much more ‘bang for my buck’ – more of the micronutrients that maintain and enhance health and longevity, without the excess kilojoules that shorten life- and health-span.
- My meals are appealing to my senses – vibrantly colourful, and with a satisfying variety of textures and flavours. This helps me feel satiated after every meal, so I’m not constantly ‘grazing’.
This article is sourced from Hopewood contributor Robyn Chuter.