Having a hard time eating those veggies? Get ready for some tips on how to eat more vegetables regularly and up your fiber game!
What is your daily dose of vegetables? In the 1980’s and 1990’s the amount of 1/2-cup portions of vegetables that was recommended was 3-5 each day. Then, in early the 2000’s, several experts began to recommend even more vegetables, 5-7 servings per day, after research from the Cancer Institute was completed. Much of the increase in the recommended amount of servings has come from the fact that there is so much more information out today regarding the benefits of fiber in the adult diet. Today, we are being asked to eat ten 1/2-cup servings or 5-cups per day! But how do you do it?
Want to eat more vegetables? Here’s what you need to know:
The national fiber recommendations are 30-38g a day for men and 25g a day for women between 18 and 50 years old and 21g a day for women over 51.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that overall consumption of fruits and vegetables among the general population are “low.” Food consumption surveys are routinely done and show how difficult it is for busy people in today’s world to get their vegetables into their diet. Other reasons for not eating vegetables:
- Survey recipients had not grown up with the vegetables and did not like the texture.
- They also thought vegetables had a boring, bland taste.
- Many felt that vegetables take too much planning or too much preparation for most people to get on a regular basis.
Tips for eating more vegetables:
Here are some ideas that you may want to consider in pursuit of the good fiber foods.
- Try a vegetable juice in the morning.
- Add more vegetables to my breakfast skillet dish.
- Add cut-up vegetables to the lunch bag.
- Ask for additional vegetables at restaurants, ask for a side salad (not fries), or try a vegetable bean bowl.
- Add a bag of Steamer vegetables at dinner.
Other good recipes include: grilled vegetables, vegetable wraps, vegetable strip “fries,” or vegetables added to homemade soups and vegetables in place of grain dishes. So many choices are available with new and delicious tastes!
Written by Rita Larsen, RDN, CD; Elite Sports Clubs Nutrition Educator & Diet Counselor
Rita is certified in Positive Psychology, University of Penn; has a BS in Dietetics from Kansas State University; and an Internship and Masters at the Indiana University Medical Center.
This information is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. All material in this article is provided for educational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, exercise, or other health program.