Just as we were managing to hit our five a day, we’re told that we should be aiming for 10 portions of fruit and veg per day.
Last week, Imperial College London released new findings that show eating 800g of fruit and vegetables per day (equivalent to 10 x 80g portions) ‘may prevent millions of premature deaths’ each year by reducing the risk of cancer and heart disease.
The study was significant in size. Researchers analysed all available research (95 studies involving 2 million people) from across the world looking at fruit and veg intake to identify how much you we should eat to gain the maximum protection against disease and premature death.
So eating more plants can help you to live a longer and healthier life, but upping your veg intake can also be beneficial in helping you to lose weight and maintain a weight you’re happy at. Here are three ways that eating more vegetables can aid weight loss:
VEG FILLS YOU UP AND KEEPS YOU FULL
There’s nothing worse than being on a diet that leaves you feeling hungry. Eating more vegetables helps you here because most are rich in fibre which promotes satiety – the feeling of fullness. This means you’re more likely to be satisfied by your meal and less likely to find yourself tempted by unhealthy snacks. Try starting your meal with a bowl of home made veg soup or adding in a side salad.
MORE VEG = LESS STARCHY CARBS
Basing meals around refined, starchy carbohydrates like bread, pasta, noodles and rice isn’t beneficial from a health or weight loss perspective. Quite the opposite. Instead, fill your plate with plenty of vegetables. Dishes like stews, curries and ratatouille can easily provide a good three or four portions per meal! Cauliflower rice makes a great alternative to rice or cous cous and try swapping pasta for courgetti topped with substantial, protein-containing sauce.
VEGETABLES ARE LOW IN CALORIES
Calories aren’t the be-all and end-all of weight loss, but they are an important consideration for both weight loss and health. Most vegetables (especially green ones) are low in calories so you can eat plenty of them and not worry about over doing it.
With the promise of a longer, healthier life and support on the weight management front, there’s no better reason to start including more veg in your diet. Make it your mission to include at least three portions at every meal and you’ll be well on your way to hitting 800g per day. Start off by trying my Easy Kale Crisps Recipe.