Lose Weight! Tastes Great!
By Maureen Connolly
Ten delicious ways to sneak fruits and vegetables into your diet.
You've heard it a gazillion times: If you want to be healthy, you'd better
eat your fruits and veggies. Yet more than 90 percent of adults still don't get
the daily amounts the government recommends: about 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups
of vegetables. "This is a real health concern," says Larry Cohen, M.D.,
an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
"Studies show that a produce-rich diet is one of the best ways to manage
your weight and to avoid heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes."
Some hard proof: Women in one study who ate produce and other high-fiber foods
lost 2 to 3 pounds more than those on a low-fiber diet. The good news is, it's
easy to get your fill now that fresh, tasty produce is available
Smart Strategies: Shop, Prep, Plan
Think seasonal. You may have found tomatoes or blueberries bland,
sour, or disappointing in the past, but before you reject them forever, try
them in peak season, when their flavors are at their best. Fresh-picked for
August: green beans, corn, peaches, plums, tomatoes, summer squash, berries,
and watermelon. (For a complete list of in-season produce for your region,
check out http://www.fieldtoplate.com/guide.php.)
Buy local. The fruits and veggies at your farmers' market will be
some of the freshest you can find because they're grown locally — which means
they haven't spent time being shipped to stores, becoming vulnerable to flavor
and freshness loss along the way. To find markets in your area, check out http://www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets
Plan for prep time. Spend 30 minutes on Sunday night washing,
peeling, and prepping vegetables and fruit: Snacking on red peppers instead of
potato chips or cooking a stir-fry for dinner rather than ordering pizza is
more appealing (and way easier) when the ingredients are ready and
Try one of these delicious, easy tips from Chad Luethje, executive chef at
the Red Mountain Spa in Ivins, UT.
Swap your O.J. for a frozen fruit treat. Fresh fruits have more fiber
— and can contain less sugar — than their juice counterparts. To get the
benefits, puree a mix of seedless watermelon chunks, raspberries, and
pomegranate juice, then freeze in ice cube trays or Popsicle holders.
Make a better bagel. Add sliced strawberries to light cream cheese or
mix berries with part-skim ricotta cheese for a sweet spread. Or enjoy a bagel
with avocado, tomato, and a dash of garlic salt.
Instead of syrup or honey, top breakfast items with lower-sugar fruit
sauce: Find a recipe for strawberry sauce at redbookmag.com/recipefinder or
buy it ready-made at your grocery store; pour over whole-grain waffles or use
to sweeten up plain yogurt or oatmeal.