Ah, the humble veggie. Or really, not so humble as we may think. After all, the nutrition community is sending messages loud and clear that including more vegetables in the average American’s diet is sure to be helpful. So why so humble?
It is my private and personal opinion that veggies should reign in the food realm. Their health benefits abound, and they will help you lose weight, especially these particular vegetables. Sure, including any vegetables in your diet instead of meat and potatoes, or worse, a McDonald’s cheeseburger, will shed the pounds. But for the most benefit, stay away from the starchy guys and choose the benefits of vegetables that are low carb.
There are many vegetables termed “low carb”. And they can be made up into tasty dishes. Generally, all sprouts and green leafy vegetables are in this category. If you like spinach, load up. Alfalfa sprouts in that pita, anyone? These two categories of veggies are great to include in your diet because they are tasty, they have amazing nutritional value, and they help you fill up faster, translating to fewer calories consumed. Most peppers, too, are excellent for low carb diet plans, and can lend a lot of flavor to any dish. By the way, peppers include peppers such as jalapenos and chili peppers, but also mean bell peppers as well. Green beans or asparagus is an excellent option for a side dish. Mushrooms provide a tasty, chewy topping, ingredient, or side dish. Avocados, jicama, and eggplant are more veggies that can easily and tastily be prepared for a low carb meal.
The benefits of turning to the aforementioned veggies to fulfill that amazing veggie craving are many. Besides providing your body with the nutrients it desperately needs, eating this specific category of vegetables will accustom your body to burning its own fat for fuel instead of the starches that usually provide it with energy. This is true of any low-carb diet plan. If your body has no starches on hand to burn for fuel, your body will automatically turn to the fat deposits to sustain itself. This is why you want to stay away from starchy vegetables most of the time.
Now please understand, I do NOT advocate a totally carb-free diet as a way to lose weight. Besides the fiber, some carbohydrates in the diet are beneficial for many reasons. The problem comes in when a person eats excessive amounts of carbohydrates, forcing the body to send some of it to the fat reserves. So yes, enjoy your carbs, but in restricted moderation. The afore-mentioned low carbohydrate vegetables are a great way to fill up and enjoy your starch-less dinner and still feel satisfied.