LOTS of Vegetables!

This is a question that I received from FOODPICKER.org

Q:  I was just diagnosed with pre-diabetes.  The nurse told me to eat lots of vegetables.  Could you tell me what “lots of vegetables” means and what type of vegetables to consume?  Also, how should I prepare them?

I could go on all day about how amazing vegetables are, but I’ll try to keep this short!  EVERYONE should make vegetables a staple in their diet, whether they are at risk for diabetes or not.  Not only are they delicious and full of vitamins and minerals, but research has shown that they can reduce the risk for many diseases, especially cancer.

If you have diabetes or pre-diabetes, you will want to limit your intake of  starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, and peas.  The great news is that you can have LOTS of non-starchy veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, leafy greens,  artichokes, green beans, asparagus, sprouts, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers (the last three are biologically fruits, but are often classified nutritionally as vegetables).  For people with diabetes, non-starchy vegetables are basically a ‘free food’ – they contain only about 5 grams of carbohydrate per serving, and most of those carbs come from fiber so you may not need to count them as carbohydrates unless you eat more than two servings at a time.  You should eat them in abundance, at least 3-5 servings a day.

There are several healthy ways to enjoy vegetables.  You can eat them raw, steamed, roasted, or sauteed in a small amount of olive oil (not butter).  Frozen vegetables can be convenient if you don’t have a lot of time to cook, just avoid boiling them because most of their healthy vitamins and minerals get leached out in the process.  DO NOT fry your veggies or smother them in dressings or cheese!

Replace unhealthy snacks with veggies - you'll be surprised how much better you feel!



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