Eat More Fruits and Veggies to Control Calories

It’s Never Too Late

Healthy food choices have a big impact on your weight and overall health

Are you tired of being sick and tired?

Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee (and former governor of Arkansas) was. When he tipped the scales at more than 100 pounds overweight, doctors told him his poor eating habits would be the death of him.

His food choices had a lot to do with gaining weight. Donuts, pancakes drowned in syrup, fried foods smothered in gravy, and fast food burgers were a regular part of his menu. Sound familiar?

Diagnosed with type-2 diabetes, Huckabee decided to give his menu a makeover starting with eating more fruits and vegetables.

Are you eating enough fruits and vegetables?

Probably not. In a recent survey, the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that the average adult eats less than 1.5 servings of fruits or vegetables a day.

And that’s not nearly enough if you’re serious about protecting your health, losing weight, or maintaining a healthy weight. An active adult should eat 2 to 2.5 cups each of fruits and vegetables every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Fruits and vegetables are naturally low in calories, high in fiber, and loaded with vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants that help control hunger, prevent inflammation, support weight management, and even prevent certain types of cancer.

Take a hint from the Harvard School of Public Health and fill half your plate at every meal with fruits and vegetables.

Ways to eat more fruits and veggies

When Huckabee added more fruits and vegetables to his diet, along with regular exercise, he lost about 100 pounds in a year. And it’s not that hard to figure out why.

A typical candy bar is loaded with 250 empty calories, sugar, and fat. Gulp down a 32-ounce soda, and you’re chugging another 270 calories and tons of sugar that will likely turn to fat.

Swap these less-than-healthy food choices for an Ohio-grown apple (just 95 calories), or a cup of steamed broccoli (just 54 calories) and it’s easy to see how eating more fruits and vegetables will help you tip the scale in the right direction.

Check out these easy ways to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet:

For breakfast
* Add berries to yogurt, oatmeal, or cereal
* Make a fruit smoothie with yogurt, strawberries, blueberries, a banana, and ice
* Cook an egg omelet with tomatoes, mushrooms, onion, peppers, and sweet potatoes

For lunch
* Order a salad and choose a vinaigrette or olive-oil dressing.
* Have a lean-protein (turkey, chicken, or tuna) sandwich loaded with veggies like spinach, tomato, onions, and peppers on whole-grain bread

For dinner
* Add frozen vegetables like broccoli, peas, and corn to homemade lasagna or a pasta dish
* Try low-sodium vegetable soup

Start making simple changes to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. You’ll feel better, live longer, and be one step closer to your goal weight.

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