The secrets of fruits and vegetables
The first secret of fruits and veggies is simple: they’re nutrient dense. This means that for their weight, most produce is low in calories; so you can eat a lot more when your diet is rich in veggies and fruits -- and still not consume a whole lot of calories. Just try that with chocolate!
The second secret: Satiety. All produce, from a juicy pear to a crispy bunch of red lettuce is packed with water and fiber, says Seattle dietitian Kerry Neville, MS, RD, and both of these not only keep the calories down, they make you feel fuller longer. This means you could be satisfying cravings for something sweet or crunchy every day -- and still lose weight.
Think about it. Maybe you’re in a 3 p.m. slump and want a snack to get you through to dinner. Which will fill your belly better, a palmful of potato chips with 155 calories, or three cups of whole strawberries with 138 calories? A can of sweetened cola at 136 calories, or a heaping cup of grapes with about the same number? In each case, the produce lets you eat a lot more, fills you up fast, and keeps you full longer.
Along with helping in a weight loss diet, don’t forget the ultimate boon when you enjoy crisp veggies and succulent fruit: You’re getting disease-fighting nutrition with all that taste, too.
Of course, to get the full benefits of fruits and vegetables -- weight loss, great taste, a reduced risk of chronic disease -- produce needs to replace at least some of the fattier, calorie-dense foods in your diet.