Fruits and Vegetables
While it is well known that fruits and vegetables are essential to good health, they are often an afterthought at meals and snacks as protein and starch take priority. There is good reason why Health Canada emphasizes this health-boosting food group in their signature rainbow and why portion control plates encourage you to make half of your plate vegetables.
Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins, minerals, fibre, and antioxidants and are associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, eye and digestive diseases and some types of cancer. Being low in calories and fat, they can also help with weight management.
Substituting with fruits and vegetables can save you calories and keep you full due to their high fibre and water content. You can actually eat the same volume or AMOUNT of food but take in less calories with vegetable-rich versions of your favourite dishes. Remember that fruits and vegetables still have calories and all calories count. It is best to substitute some of your other higher-calorie foods with fruits and vegetables vs. adding them into your diet which could actually lead to weight gain.
Curious how much fruits and vegetables you should be getting? Click here to use our Get Enough tool.