Serving sizes for vegetables & fruit
- 1 serving = 1/2 cup for most vegetables and fruit
- 1 serving of leafy greens = 1 cup (spinach, lettuce, kale, etc)
- 1 servings = 1 piece of fruit (orange, clementine, apple, banana, etc)
Serving targets for vegetables & fruit
- Fruit: 2 to 4 servings per day
- Vegetables: 3 to 5 servings per day
Fresh fruit & vegetables provide complex carbs and are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients. Most Americans only eat a serving or 2 per day (if potatoes are excluded).
Different Colors = Different Nutrients
Increase the amount of dark green and colorful vegetables in your diet.
Minimize or eliminate potatoes – the starch metabolizes as sugar. Corn also has a very high sugar content – best to minimize. Sweet potatoes are OK.
Limit fruit to 4 servings per day
Be careful about eating too much fruit. Fruit is loaded with natural sugars and calories – no more than 4 servings of fruit per day.
Have all the vegetables you want
It’s almost impossible to eat too many vegetables – as long as they’re not fried or loaded with extra sugar and fats like butter, salad dressings & fatback. Lean is the key. Most vegetables only contain about 30 calories per serving with the exception of beans, corn, potatoes, and sweet potatoes which have a higher calorie content.
Adding butter, cooking oils, sugary sauces, and cheese to your veggies simply adds more calories with no benefit. Absolutely, positively, do not coat vegetables with breading and fry them.
Steaming or roasting are the best ways to cook veggies. Pan frying or sauteing with a minimum (like a teaspoon to tablespoon) of cooking oil is also fine.
Experiment with different seasonings to give your veggies a little extra zing – fresh squeezed lemon or lime, a little parmesan, lemon pepper, cajun seasoning, and chicken seasoning work well.
Vegetables contain very few calories and are loaded with complex carbs, fiber, and essential vitamins and minerals.