Is It True That Vegetables Can Make You Fat?
Dieting and losing weight is a challenge. The careful balance of exercise, calories and the right attitude takes weeks and sometimes months to cultivate. In this world then, vegetables are simple, beautiful things. Natural, colorful foods that are chock full of nutrients and healthy calories. One would hope that a diet could be a simple as replacing all the candy, carbs, and trans fats with raw and steamed veggies and be done with it. So imagine the frustration that comes when one realizes that even these miracle foods can be bad for their waistline. As it turns out, the challenge of a healthy diet goes beyond just eating more vegetables but lies instead in which vegetables one picks.
It’s worth mentioning that most vegetables are low in calories and it would take an absolute feast to make someone gain a significant amount of weight. For reference, a cup of carrots contains 52 calories, broccoli contains 31, and celery around 16. The numbers are tiny but their ability to fill the stomach and act as a source of vitamins and nutrients is invaluable. However, once one movies into the realm of the protein packed veggies such as beans, peas, and legumes this changes quite a bit. While the nutrient density and protein rich content of these foods can be an incredible addition to a healthy diet, they can cross a line. Compared to the low caloric content of carrots or broccoli, a veggie like black beans contains 227 calories in a cup while lentils contain around 230. Eating a ton of protein-rich vegetables can seem like an easy solution to building a fulfilling, healthy diet. However, unless its being balanced with an intensive workout routine, it can lead to some extra pounds.
Perhaps the biggest offender for vegetable weight gain are the starch- heavy foods. Potatoes, sweet potatoes, lima beans, corn, and peas are the most likely to ruin an otherwise healthy choice. Their calorie content is high and it can quickly become empty as foods like russet potatoes and corn lack the nutritional benefits of their siblings. Their healthiness is also highly dependent on the cooking method. You can’t trick yourself with fries or other high fat cooking techniques. It’s best to bake, steam and roast starchy veggies and use portion control if one is looking to reap their benefits.
Lastly, if one is looking to understand just how much a veggie is going to affect their waistline, it always helps to check the fiber content. Vegetables high in dietary and soluble fiber, such as cooked carrots and green peas, can make one feel full quickly and decrease the likelihood that one could eat enough to make them fat. Dietary fiber adds bulk to foods without changing the caloric intake while soluble fiber slows digestion and helps to make one feel fuller for longer. Working with this combination can work wonders.
So can vegetables make you fat? Yes and no. Technically, anything can if you eat enough of it and sit around. Eat smart and investigate the benefits of the foods you’re eating. A little extra knowledge can be the difference.
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