eat more veggies

Want to cut down on all the junk in your diet? The best and  most effective method we know of is not actually to cut those foods out, but instead to crowd them out. Including more fresh veggies and produce in your diet will make you less susceptible to reaching for those chips or other less than ideal options.

It should be noted that many Americans eat too few veggies, which may be one of the contributing factors to overweight and obesity rates being so high in the United States. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 suggest eating 2 cups of veggies when consuming 1,600 calories daily, and 3.5 cups of vegetables when eating 2,600 calories per day. Finding creative ways to add veggies to your meal plan will help you meet daily vegetable recommendations — and reduce your risk for excess weight, obesity and chronic diseases.

Choose Veggies for Snacks

eat vegetables

Because vegetables boost satiety, they make excellent between-meal snacks without all the extra calories. To get more veggies in your diet, choose a vegetable for a mid-morning, afternoon or night time snack. Popular options to snack on between meals include carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumber slices, bell peppers or cherry tomatoes. Dip the veggies in hummus to boost satiety, and add extra protein and heart-healthy fats to your menu.

Drink Vegetable Juice

eat vegetables

If you’re on the go often and don’t have time to pack a healthy lunch, grab a can or bottle of vegetable juice on your way out the door. ChooseMyPlate.com notes that 1 cup of vegetable juice is equivalent to a 1-cup portion from the vegetables group. However, some vegetable juice drinks are high in sodium, so look for reduced-sodium varieties or juice your own veggies.

Veggies for Breakfast

eat vegetables

Many Americans don’t eat veggies for breakfast, but there are healthy ways to incorporate vegetables into a morning meal. Try adding tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and bell peppers to an egg-white omelet. How about wrapping black beans, salsa or tomatoes, scrambled egg whites and avocados in a whole-grain tortilla to create a nutritious breakfast burrito? Or, you can always simply drink reduced-sodium vegetable juice with your morning meal. Green juices are wildly popular now, as are mixing a bunch of greens in your morning smoothie.

Add Veggies to Entrees

eat vegetables

You can add vegetables to just about any entrée you’re preparing. Mix veggies into casseroles, soups and salads. Make a vegetable salad your entrée by topping it with grilled chicken breast, reduced-fat shredded cheese and sunflower seeds. Add leafy greens, cucumbers and sliced tomatoes to sandwiches or turkey burgers. Grill veggies on kabobs with chicken, lean red meat, shrimp or tofu. Eat veggie burgers instead of hamburgers. Add vegetables to stir fry, fajitas or tacos made with lean beef, ground turkey or tilapia.

Need more ideas on what to do with your veggies? Why not check out our recipe round up here!

Check out our Eating Well features here.

How do you sneak veggies into your daily diet?


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