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Monday, October 17, 2011

Why I prefer people eat vegetables instead of fruit

It may surprise you to hear that I, even though I am a dietitian,hate apples. I am not sure if I hate them because my mum sent me with one for recess on my first day of school when everyone else had potato chips, or because I find them sickly sweet, but whenever I see a dietitian’s logo featuring an apple, I feel slightly nauseous. In fact, whether it is an apple, an orange or even a mango, give me a vegetable in its place any day. It is not that I do not like all fruit, I simply prefer vegetables.

Now, you do not need a science degree to work out that fruit is very healthy. Packed with fibre, vitamins and minerals as well as being low in calories, fruit is a great snack choice. But the truth be known, if it came to choosing between fruit and vegetables, I would go for veges any day.

Before you get outraged that a dietitian would dare not talk about apples in anything but glowing terms I want you to consider this. Fruit, whilst being healthy contains far more calories and sugars than vegetables, with fewer health benefits. It is much easier to eat numerous pieces of fruit each day than it is to eat too many vegetables, and most clients I see for weight loss are eating far too much fruit, and far too few vegetables.

Vegetables make the perfect snack. They are generally not sweet, so you are not tempted to eat more and more of them. They are bulky, so they fill you up. They have virtually no calories but are so rich in nutrients that they are one of the few types of food that are actually linked to a reduced risk of developing some types of cancer long term.

So next time you go to grab a piece of fruit as you try to be “healthy”, grab a vegetable instead and your health, your weight and your tummy will benefit long term.

Vegetable/Salad (per cup, raw) Total Carbs (g) Total Cal
Broccoli <1 20
Pumpkin 1 70
Carrot 7 45
Tomato 4 30
Red capsicum 4 30
Cucumber 3 16
Peas 10 100
Green beans 3 30
Beetroot 10 60
Celery 1 15