Are you one of the 10% of Americans eating enough fruits and vegetables each day? According to the CDC, only one in ten Americans are getting the recommended 1.5-2 cups of fruit and 2-3 cups of veggies into their daily diet. Give yourself a pat on the back if you’re getting enough. If not, incorporating more produce into your diet can result in health benefits that span from lower overall weight to a reduced risk of disease and cancer. Not only does eating an assortment of fruits and veggies keep your body humming, but that assortment can help you create delicious meals that keep your blood sugar steady and your stomach satisfied after bariatric surgery. So how can you make sure you’re getting enough produce in your diet?
Aim for 1-2 servings of produce at each meal. It’s a lot easier to fill your diet with produce when you’re making it a main feature in your meals. Try loading up an omelet with sautéed veggies at breakfast, stacking that sandwich full of vegetables slivers, making a soup brimming with tender seasonal vegetables, or topping yogurt or cereal with fresh fruit.
Snack smarter. Stocking your fridge with ready-to-go snacks is a must for people who are watching their weight. Prep bags full of chopped veggies or washed fruits for easy, on-the-go snacks.
Make fruit the star at dessert. Fresh berries topped with light whipped cream or a small scoop of ice cream makes a great dessert that can help you meet your fruit consumption goals. During fall, try baked apples or stone fruits topped with a light drizzle of maple syrup or crème anglaise.
Swap juice for whole fruit. Most fruit juices on the market are made of sugar and fruit concentrates (or even just flavoring!). Spend your calories on whole fruit. Not only will you get the pick-me-up of natural sugars, but you’ll also get long-lasting fiber.
Get creative in the kitchen. Why not swap spaghetti for spaghetti squash or spiralized zucchini, make an Alfredo sauce using cauliflower as the main ingredient, or sneak in some spinach into a smoothie? A quick search on the Internet will show you so many different ways to add vegetables into a meal.
Make sure your fridge is stocked (and prepped) with nutritious produce to help you meet your recommended daily dose of fresh fruits and veggies. Enjoying enough vegetables and fruits each day provides you with the nutrition you need to stay healthy and active, as well as the fuel you will need to achieve your weight loss or maintenance goals.
To learn more about weight loss through our nutrition and wellness counseling, call 1-877-691-3001. Or, register for a free bariatric surgery seminar to learn more about weight loss surgery in LA and MS. Our goal is to help you achieve a happy, healthy weight.