Submitted by Carol Tomlinson RN BS, Community Health Educator
HOW TO ENJOY FRUITS AND VEGGIES AT EVERY MEAL
According to a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, “A lot of people concerned about good nutrition are just watching what they can’t eat – whether it’s fat, sugar, salt or whatever.” That attitude can blind us to all of those foods that we really should be eating more of. It can also lead to missing nutrients in our food and can even lead to dietary deficiencies for even the most conscientious eaters.
The most recent U.S. Dietary Guidelines call for 3-5 servings of vegetables and 3-4 servings of fruit daily. Just a few modest changes to your diet may give you all the nutrients you need. Here are some good ideas from the Hope Health newsletter.
- Top French toast or waffles with berries or slices of banana or kiwi fruit.
- Fill an omelet with mushrooms, peppers, onions, zucchini and/or spinach.
- Add fresh, canned or dried fruit to plain yogurt or cereal.
- Replace half the meat in a sandwich with extra slices of tomato and romaine or leafy lettuce.
- Add fruit slices or grapes to any green salad.
- Make a peanut butter sandwich with slices of apple or pear instead of jelly.
- Top a baked potato with broccoli or salsa instead of butter or sour cream.
- Head to a salad bar and fill up on mostly raw, crunchy vegetables.
- Buy or make a bean burrito stuffed with extra vegetables.
- Add your favorite chopped fruits and vegetables to tuna or chicken salad.
- Garnish a fillet of sole with grapes or add pineapple slices to grilled chicken breast.
- Finely chop any type of vegetable in a food processor, then sauté and add to lasagna.
- Stuff meatloaf with celery, onions, carrots and lentils.
- Spray veggies lightly with olive oil and roast them in a 400 degree oven or grill them on skewers.
- Grill stone fruit like peaches, nectarines and plums for dessert.
Remember, a diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables may help lower your risk for heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. The U.S.D.A. Food Guide Pyramid recommends these daily portion totals for adults:
- 2 ½ Cups of Vegetables – 1 cup raw or cooked, 2 cups raw leafy, or 1 cup 100% juice count as 1 cup. The size of a fist is equivalent to one cup.
- 2 Cups of Fruit – 1 cup raw or cooked fruit, 1 medium piece of fruit (the size of a tennis ball), 1 cup of 100% juice, or ½ cup dried fruit count as 1 cup.
For more information on good nutrition, contact your health care provider or call HealthLink Littauer at 736-1120. You can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Wellness Center at 213 Harrison Street Ext. in Johnstown, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. We’re celebrating 20 years of being your community health & wellness service of Nathan Littauer Hospital and Nursing Home.