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Load Up on the Veggies and Lose Weight

9:27 AM, Oct 4, 2011   |    comments
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By Emily Hoffman, MS, RD, LD/N

Vegetables are not new and there is nothing fancy about them.  They are however very good for your health and can be your best friend when you are trying to lose weight.  Americans in general do not eat enough vegetables for whatever reason and it really is a shame, because they are full of vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants that may help fight disease and cancers. Not to mention with our country's expanding waistlines, the need for low calorie, filling foods, like vegetables, is ever increasing.

Vegetables mainly fall into two categories, starchy or non-starchy, depending on the proportion of water to carbohydrates they contain.  Starchy vegetables are the ones that contain the most carbohydrates (80-90%) and have more calories.  Non-starchy vegetables contain mostly water and fewer carbohydrates and calories. Understanding which vegetables are high in carbohydrates is important because naturally our bodies will use any extra carbohydrates eaten and convert them to fat, even extra carbohydrates from vegetables. When starchy vegetables are digested, they are used more like a bread, pasta or rice.  The non-starchy vegetables therefore tend to be more weight loss friendly.  Use this list below as a guide to picking your vegetables.



Non-Starchy Vegetables

Starchy Vegetables


Potatoes- any type


Beans- any type


Chick peas




Lima beans

Green beans

Green peas



Brussels sprouts





Butternut squash


Acorn squash

Bok Choy




Egg plant





Vegetables also help you feel full and satisfied because they contain fiber.   By picking a non-starchy vegetable like broccoli as a side dish rather than a potato, you will be eating fewer calories and feel fuller sooner helping you to eat less.  To help you lose weight, fill up half your plate with non-starchy vegetables at a meal.  This is an easy way to help cut down calories, feel fuller sooner and get the nutrients you body craves. 

The preceding information was provided courtesy of Emily Hoffman, MS, RD, LD/N at Memorial Hospital.

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