Who hasn’t heard how important vegetables are for good health?
Who doesn’t care? Apparently a lot of people! According to a study conducted by Humana and Reader’s Digest fewer than 26% of American adults eat the recommended 3-5 servings of vegetables daily.
I conducted a little study myself to ask some Weight Watchers members how many servings of vegetables they eat daily. The Weight Watchers program directs members to eat a combined total of 5 servings of fruits and vegetable daily and yet, many of the members whom I interviewed, admitted they rarely or never meet the minimum.
ME: How many servings of vegetables would you say you eat on an average day?
WEIGHT WATCHERS MEMBER #1: Does catsup count? No seriously, I’m not doing well on getting enough vegetables. I try, but most days I may not eat any at all.
ME: You said you can’t fulfill the Weight Watchers program recommendation for vegetables. Any idea why that would be so?
WEIGHT WATCHERS MEMBER #2: I forget. I eat on the run a lot and unless I have baby carrots or something like that with me, I just don’t eat them.
ME: You said you don’t like vegetables. What is it about them you don’t like?
WEIGHT WATCHERS MEMBER #3: Well, I like the starchy ones like potatoes and corn, but the rest of them taste gross. I even hate how they smell when they’re cooking, Brussel sprouts and broccoli stink up the house for hours.
ME: How do you manage to exceed the Weight Watchers vegetable requirement so consistently?
WEIGHT WATCHERS MEMBER #4: It’s easy for me. I am a habitual eater. I like to munch on something all day and so I need to make choices that aren’t going to get in the way of losing weight. I love potato chips and m&ms but if I eat them all day I won’t lose weight. I make sure I always have a stash of vegetables with me for snacks. I love carrot and celery sticks, grape tomatoes are another favorite. Cauliflower and broccoli are good too, but the broccoli usually leaves little green things in my teeth, so I don’t snack on them as much. I start every lunch and dinner with a big salad and include at least 2 sides of vegetables with my meals.
We know the benefits of vegetables.
- Low in calories
- Good source of vitamins
- Good source of fiber
- Contain a variety of antioxidants that fight cancer, heart disease, arteriosclerosis, and other chronic illnesses
- Good way to stay full and satisfied
We know they’re good for us and they can be good to eat, too. Knowing how to shop for and prepare vegetables can make it easier to meet, or better yet exceed, the daily minimum requirement.
Watch me on Good Day Maine (FOX23 Check your local listing) Wednesday morning (June 17) when I share tips and a recipe to help you EAT YOUR VEGETABLES AND LIKE IT! If you can’t watch it, set your DVR for Wednesday morning’s Good Day Maine on FOX!