Based on the USDA’s MyPlate initiative, the recommendation for a healthy diet is that people should consume about 2 to 3 cups of vegetables and 1.5 to 2 cups of fruits. One of the long-held views about eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is that it helps to also promote weight loss. Fruits and veggies contain loads of fibers that cannot be broken down by digestive chemicals in the gut. So that means these foods aren’t absorbed quickly and take a long time to travel through to the gut. And that’s a good thing — fiber in plant-based foods keeps people feeling fuller for a longer period of time.
But all the slicing, dicing, and chopping of fruits and veggies that will be either tossed in a salad or dropped in a juicer may have lots to offer as far as nutrition is concerned, but little to do with weight loss. One study showed that incorporating plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet doesn’t help you shed those pounds.
Yes, fruits and vegetables will make you feel you sated longer.
Yes, by eating plant-based foods, you’re getting the benefits of loads of phytonutrients.
No, you’re not going to lose weight if you rely solely on fruit and vegetable intake.
Weight loss is a complex issue that is based on the amount of energy consumed as food and the amount of energy burned during exercise. To lose weight and keep it off you can’t rely on diet alone. You have to combine a healthy diet and physical activity to help you maintain a healthy weight — not just as a short-term goal but for years to come. You can fight obesity, an epidemic in the United States, by doing the following:
- Drink a lot of water: Organic juices are good, but our body, which is made up of over 70% water, needs plain old H2O for many of its cellular activities.
- Consume foods high in fiber: It lowers cholesterol and reduces the risk of diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
- Avoid processed foods: To give foods a longer shelf life, foods are stripped of important nutrients and often too much salt and sugar are added back in order to enhance the taste.
- Steer clear of fizzy drinks: Sodas contain a lot of sugar and unhealthy additives.
- Engage in daily physical activity: Whether it’s walking the dog, running on a treadmill, or taking a yoga class, find an activity that you enjoy doing that will also help to keep your weight in check.
Good nutrition and physical activity help to promote a healthy lifestyle. While fruits and vegetables contain various components such as bioactive compounds, phytonutrients, and antioxidants, you also need to exercise to burn calories and keep a healthy weight. In my new book, The Gene Therapy Plan: Taking Control of Your Genetic Destiny with Diet and Lifestyle, which will be published by Viking in April, I explain how you can prevent and reverse conditions like obesity. I also offer plenty of nutritional recommendations and include recipes, so you can implement the Plan into your daily routine. Do this, and you’ll be well on your way toward achieving longevity and good health.