Mom was right….. “Eat your fruits and vegetables.” Research shows people who eat more fruits and vegetables are likely to have reduced risks of chronic diseases including stroke, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Another big benefit is calorie control. Many fruits and vegetables are low in calories, high in fiber, and chocked full of nutrients.

So how much fruit and vegetables are we eating? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in 2015 that just 13 per cent of Americans consume 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit a day and less than 9 per cent eat two to three cups of vegetables per day as recommended. Click here to view a copy of serving sizes for fruits and vegetables.

If you have had weight loss surgery, the current guidelines from the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) include at least 5 daily servings of fresh fruits and vegetables. Initially your portions will be smaller but if you are a year or more out from surgery your portion will be about ½ cup.

People often tell me they don’t know how to cook vegetables or don’t like the taste of them. You can purchase vegetables in the produce department that are cleaned, cut and packaged in a steamer bag. All you need to do is pop them in the microwave for cooking.  You may want to try grilling vegetables to give them a smoky taste. No need to add the butter and cheese sauces which adds lots of calories from fat. Some supermarkets package vegetables already cleaned, cut and ready for the grill.

Eat Smarter…..
Vicki Bovee, MS, RDN, LD