Healthy Foods To Eat

How to Eat More Vegetables

plate of fresh vegetables

Vegetables are the best healthy foods to eat. We need to eat a wide range of vegetables in order to have a balanced healthy diet. Unfortunately, many people are stuck in the habit of eating just a few favourite vegetables. Here’s a checklist that will help you add more vegetables to your menu.

“The only vegetables I eat are potatoes.”

Does this sound like you? Well, you’re not alone. According to the Coles Vegetable and Fruit Index (2000), potatoes are the most popular vegetable, liked by 47% of survey respondents. Potatoes soundly beat runners up carrots (41%), broccoli (25%) and tomatoes (25%) and completely outstrip pumpkin (15%), beans (14%), peas (14%), lettuce (14%), cauliflower (13%) and onions (11%). The Australian National Nutrition Survey (1995) showed that potatoes are the most frequently consumed vegetable, with more than half the respondents eating a serve of potatoes in a given 24 hour period.

Unfortunately for them, many of the survey respondents mentioned above had consumed their potato serving in the form of hot chips. Apart from the fats added during frying, the heat generated by the cooking process heavily degrades the otherwise respectable vitamin C content of potatoes.

To be fair, the humble potato’s reputation as a fattening vegetable is somewhat undeserved. Although high in starchy carbohydrates that are a good source of energy, the caloric value of a 75g serving of potato is less than 60 calories. The cooking processes of roasting and frying in oil usually employed when preparing potatoes and the traditional accompaniments of butter, cheese and sour cream are the real culprits.

Even with hot chips measured as a valid serving, less than 30% of respondents had eaten enough vegetables in the preceding 24 hour period. According to the Australian Healthy Eating Guide, adults should eat five servings of vegetables each day. A serving size is half a cup or 75g of vegetables or legumes, or 1 cup of lettuce.

I’m not suggesting that people should never eat potatoes (or hot chips!) However, eating a diversity of vegetables is advisable for several reasons.

  • 1. Eating a diversity of vegetables gives you broad coverage from the range of nutrients and antioxidants different vegetables have to offer.
  • 2. Research shows that people who eat only a limited selection of vegetables generally have low vegetable consumption.
  • 3. So do their kids.

So, my fellow potato lovers, here’s something for you to try... challenge yourself to eat other vegetables, maybe some that you haven’t tried for a long time or have never tasted at all. Your tastebuds mature as you get older and you may be surprised when some of the vegetables you detested as a child suddenly have some appeal. When you subscribe to the 'More Growing Raw' newsletter you can download a free alphabetical list of vegetables to use as a handy checklist. It enables you to track your likes and dislikes and sets out more than sixty different kinds of vegetables for you to sample or reconsider.

You can also check out some of these recipes that use different vegetables:

  • Homemade vegetable soup recipes
  • Vegetable salad recipes
  • Green smoothie recipes
  • Articles related to Healthy Foods to Eat:

  • How to Keep vegetables Fresh
  • How to Grow Potatoes
  • 20 Ways to Include Vegetables in Healthy Kids Meals
  • Vegetable Gardens for Kids
  • Healthy Cooking
  • How to Get a Raw Vegetable Diet Boost
  • Best weight loss plan
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