Fruits and vegetables provide the crucial fibers, vitamins, and minerals that we need in our daily diet. They promote healthy skin, support immune function, and they taste delicious! The inconvenient truth is that very few of us are actually eating enough servings of each every day. Our plate portions are so out of, well, proportion that it almost seems normal to barely have any veggies with dinner. Some think that the slice of tomato and lettuce in the sandwich justifies the piles of turkey and bacon, along with the side of fries and soda. This month, I encourage you to shift your frame of mind, and look at your plate a little differently.
The burger, fries, and soda combo is an American staple. However, if you really take a look at what you're getting from this meal, you'll quickly find that this is not how people should be eating regularly. With the bun and copious amounts of french fries, the meal is already 50% starch. Break down the rest of the burger and you have a patty (maybe two) that is covered in cheese and, depending on where you are, chances are it is highly processed beef. This accounts for maybe 35% of your plate. We'll be generous and say that you enjoy all toppings, so veggies include tomato, lettuce, onion, and pickle. Each slice added up will only account for the last bit of your plate, about 10%. The other 5% is that large coke that you're most likely going to refill after the meal.
Now let’s take a look at what a healthy portioned plate looks like...
50% veggies (or more), 25% starch, 25% protein. Pretty straightforward right? When you think about it, it makes sense! Why would you fill your body up with empty carbohydrates that are later stored as sugar, which then turns to fat? It would be much better to get some quality, clean protein, and supplement that with the fiber-vitamin-mineral-rich fruits and veggies. All of which contribute to digestion, muscle growth, immune support... You get the idea. More matters!
The first thing you'll notice by making this change in your diet is how you feel after you eat. No one has ever said "I feel great!" after eating a big greasy meal at a fast food restaurant. As you continue to eat healthier, your body will reap the benefits and you will begin to have more energy. Additionally, fruits and veggies provide numerous amounts of preventative health benefits, too many to discuss in just one blog article. Who would have thought that eating right could make you feel good? CRAZY concept right? The best thing about fruit and vegetables, is that you can eat as MUCH as you want! So go crazy, be creative, and most of all eat your (fruits) and veggies!