I get asked all the time for specific recommendations for losing weight. I also get asked about dietary recommendations for naturally lowering cholesterol levels or naturally lowering blood pressure levels. One great way to achieve all these goals at once is to eat 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Yes, you read that right… 9 servings! Every day! This should include at least 5 servings of vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are low in calorie. This means you can eat a lot without getting many calories. In fact, you can gorge yourself and still lose weight. Have large salads with many different colored vegetables mixed in. (Avoid high calorie dressings!) You should have several servings of vegetables with each meal during the day. Eat both fruits and vegetables as snacks. Furthermore, the more fruits and vegetables you eat the less room you will have for eating other junk food. Besides being low in calories, fruits and vegetables are loaded with fiber. Fiber fills you up with no calories. It also helps lower your cholesterol naturally and keeps you regular. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with nutrients, including protein. Many green vegetables have significant amounts of protein per serving. (How do you think giraffes and gorillas get so big?) Many fruits and vegetables have large amounts of potassium, which helps to naturally lower your blood pressure. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with multiple vitamins including vitamin C, a critical vitamin our bodies constantly need to replenish. Finally, fruits and vegetables have many different kinds of phytonutrients and antioxidants. These are nature’s way of lowering your inflammation levels, fighting disease, and preventing cancer. The greater variety of colors you eat, the better. So make it a goal to eat at least 9 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. You will be amazed at how much better you feel, how much weight you can lose, and how healthy you can become, naturally.
Not necessarily. Being vegetarian does not equate with being healthy. It is a big step in the right direction, but it alone is not enough. Fruits and vegetables should be a large part of everyone’s diet. The more you eat the better. Fruits and vegetables are low calorie, filled with nutrients, and loaded with fiber. Whole grains are also a healthy part of your diet as are seeds and nuts. Unfortunately, many foods that are vegetarian are also unhealthy. Sugar is vegetarian, but obviously unhealthy. Bread is vegetarian and unhealthy. In fact, many processed foods are vegetarian, but quite unhealthy. Processed foods are loaded with empty calories. They have very few nutrients or fiber. They cause your insulin levels to spike, which leads to increased inflammation and weight gain. Being vegetarian, but eating bread, chips, pretzels, cookies and cakes will lead to weight gain. This will lead to increased inflammation, high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol levels, and eventually diabetes. Remember, the goal of healthy eating is to eat more whole, unprocessed foods. Foods that are unprocessed tend to be loaded with nutrients, phytonutrients, and fiber. These foods help prevent disease unlike processed foods which promote disease. So remember the goal of healthy eating is to eat foods that promote weight loss and good health. Being a vegetarian can be a big step in the right direction, but alone is not enough.