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How can veggies help with weight loss?

How can veggies help with weight loss?
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If you’re trying to lose weight, you don’t need to – nor should you – only eat veggies to do that. However, increasing your vegetable intake can help support a healthy diet plan.

Non-starchy vegetables make you feel full after a healthy meal and add a bounty of various vitamins, minerals and other micronutrients, says dietitian Yulia Brockdorf.

They also have a low glycemic load and are lower in kilojoules and carbohydrates. Vegetables also tend to be nutrient-dense and are relatively low in kilojoules per serving size.

Let’s not forget the fibre factor. Fibre takes a bit longer to digest in the body, so you’ll feel fuller longer. On top of that, these veggies are also some of the most hydrating foods you can eat without drinking water.

We asked registered dietitians to share the best vegetables for weight loss.

Zucchini

Zucchini
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Zucchini ‘zoodles’ are a great substitute for highly refined carb pasta noodles. They’re low in kilojoules and ideal as a gluten-free option, says dietitian Kristine van Workum.

One medium zucchini (with skin on) has around 140 kilojoules, 2 grams of fibre, and 58 per cent of the recommended daily value for vitamin C.

Cauliflower

Cauliflower
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When you’re craving higher-kilojoule starchy potatoes or white rice, consider trying cauliflower instead. You can transform cauliflower into a pizza crust, cauliflower rice, or substitute one-half of the potatoes in a recipe for mashed cauliflower, says Van Workum.

You’ll save kilojoules and carbs, plus get more fibre towards your daily goal by switching, making it one of the best vegetables for weight loss. For example, one-half cup of white rice has about 420 kilojoules, 23g of carbs, and zippo fibre.

On the other hand, cauliflower has only 5 grams of carbs, 113 kilojoules and 2 grams of fibre. Plus, cauliflower is rich in vitamin C, vitamin K and folate.

Now here’s an unusual mix you might like to try. Cauliflower and banana salad uses both sweet and tart fruit with cashew nuts to add colour.

Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts
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Brussels sprouts are delicious when roasted and are popping up as tempting crispy appetisers on restaurant menus. And that’s just how dietitian Melissa Majumdar, spokesperson for the US Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, likes to eat them. “A little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper goes a long way with Brussels sprouts, and make a great side to some grilled fish,” says Majumdar. Taste aside, they’re a substantial and hefty veggie, Van Workum says, with a low-kilojoule price tag of about 160 kilojoules per cup.

This cruciferous vegetable also helps decrease inflammation, says Van Workum, and has their other vitamins, minerals and omega-3 fatty acids.

Beetroot

Beetroot
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No kidding, beetroot could curb your sweet cravings. They’re a naturally sweet root veggie that is often overlooked, which is surprising because you can’t ‘beet’ the weight loss and health benefits they provide. In fact, beetroots can help with your fat-burning efforts when it comes to exercise.

“There’s been some research on beets and athletic performance,” says Van Workum. The nitrates in beetroot can improve endurance, and they are high in antioxidants, according to the journal Nutrients.

While beets are considered a starchy veggie, they are still seven grams lower in carbs than potatoes, and a half-cup is a mere 160 kilojoules.

Buy them raw or save prep time and buy the ready-to-eat variety in the produce section. Roasting them brings out the natural sugars, so they’re tasty as is. Or toss them on a bed of spring mix greens with goat’s cheese, walnuts and vinaigrette.

If you have gout, however, check with your doctor before eating them, as beetroot contains oxalate, which can contribute to gout.

Mushrooms

Mushrooms
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Are you looking to trim the fat and kilojoules from classic dinners like tacos, meatloaf and burgers? Move from the meat aisle and head to the produce sections to bag some mushrooms.

“They’re one of the few veggies that exhibit umami, a savoury taste sensation, so they can be exchanged for some meat items, the way a Portobello mushroom cap can be exchanged for a beef patty in a hamburger,” notes Van Workum. This flavour profile makes it an easy addition to your meals, and one of the best vegetables for weight loss.

For comparison, one cup of Swiss brown mushrooms is about 80 kilojoules. A cup of beef (85 per cent lean) is around 900 kilojoules. You can even make a delicious mushroom jerky to pack for your next hike.

In this Mushroom and Tofu Stir-fry, you can use whatever type of mushroom you like!

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Cucumber

Cucumber
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If you’re looking to take in more fibre, vitamin K and potassium, put the peeler away. Cucumbers are one of the veggies you shouldn’t peel. Of course, you could go the standard route and eat cucumbers dipped in hummus or tossed in a salad, but why not slash kilojoules more creatively?

Brockdorf uses cucumbers in place of bread for sandwiches. Keep the skin on for a sturdier ‘bread’ and cut them lengthwise. Fill with lean deli meat and/or additional veggies. Or try making a cucumber fruit salad.

“Think red onion slivers, cucumber, tomatoes and peaches tossed with red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and a little olive oil,” says Majumdar. While you’re slicing cucumbers, save some for a refreshing jug of water to keep on hand in the fridge.

Radish

Radish
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A radish has so much more to offer than being carved into a pretty flower garnish. For starters they are very low in kilojoules —around 75 kilojoules per cup with about two grams of fibre and a surprising 14 per cent of the daily recommendation for vitamin C. Plus, they lend a helping hand when it comes to metabolic health.

“Radishes enhance the production of a peptide called adiponectin that modulates glucose and fatty acid regulation,” says Brockdorf. According to the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, studies suggest decreased adiponectin levels can contribute to obesity, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Toss them on a salad or blessed bowl, dip them in hummus or make savoury veggie chips.

Spinach

Spinach
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A heaping pile of spinach is a regular standby on Majumdar’s lunch plate. She likes to add a cup of spinach to leftovers, layered on sandwiches, or in a salad with red capsicum strips and slivered almonds.

Toss some in lasagne or scrambled eggs to boost your veggie score for the day. You can layer on a hearty handful (one cup) and still only consume about 30 kilojoules.

Besides the taste, she eats it for magnesium, potassium, B vitamins and vitamin K, which are essential for blood clotting. However, if you’re on blood-thinning medications, Brockdorf says to check in with your doctor before eating too much spinach.

Here’s another bonus, spinach can help with constipation because it is high in insoluble fibre, absorbing water and other materials to help stool formation.

You could also try these 11 surprising home remedies for constipation relief.

Eggplant

Eggplant
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The pretty deep purple skin isn’t the only thing the eggplant has going for it. Its secret weight loss power is its versatility. It can be a flavourful swap for higher kilojouled food making it one of the best vegetables for weight loss.

“They’re kind of like a meaty texture, like a Swiss brown or eggplant steak,” says Van Workum. Its meaty-like texture makes it a good swap for meat dishes, cutting kilojoules and saturated fat. And because it’s only around 83 kilojoules per cup and about three grams of fibre, you can eat more and feel fuller.

If you want to ease into eggplant, try something more simple. “Roast and blend eggplant into baba ganoush and use it in place of mayonnaise, ” says Van Workum. If you’re not familiar with baba ganoush, it is similar to hummus and makes a thick and yummy dip for veggies.

There are many versions of Baba ganoush, including this creamy Turkish eggplant yoghurt dip which is thickened with ground almonds to add both texture and protein.

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Source: RD.com

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