According to the American Dietetic Association and USDA, a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is associated with decreased risk for chronic disease and eating them as part of a reduced-calorie diet can be beneficial for weight management.
Be sure to include the recommended amounts every day:
• Vegetables- 2 1/2 cups
One serving equals 1 cup raw or cooked vegetables or vegetable juice (low-sodium), or 2 cups of raw leafy greens
• Fruits- 2 cups
One serving equals 1 cup fruit or 100% fruit juice,1/2 cup dried fruit, or 1 small piece of fruit
Why are Fruits and Vegetables Important?
• Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet may reduce risk for stroke and possible other cardiovascular disease, and type 2 diabetes
• Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables as part of an overall healthy diet may protect against certain cancers such as mouth, stomach, and colon-rectum cancer
• The fiber in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease
• The potassium in fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and may help to decrease bone loss
Tips on How to Enjoy More Fruits and Vegetables
• Cut up fruit and vegetables and have them ready to eat in the refrigerator
• Have a bowl of fresh fruit including apples, oranges, and bananas on the counter, ready to grab
• Stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables while they are in season and buy frozen when out of season to save money
• If buying canned vegetables, be sure to choose “No Salt Added” varieties. (rinsing does wash away some of the sodium otherwise)
• If buying canned or packaged fruit, be sure to choose varieties that are packed in water or their own fruit juice not syrup
• Add vegetables to your pizza for a delicious way to include yourveggies
• Help kids make fruit kabobs for a fun after school snack
• Include a green salad with dinner most nights of the week
• Shred zucchini or carrots into meatloaf, casseroles, or muffins
• Include chopped vegetables in lasagna or pasta sauce
American Dietetic Association www.eatright.org
Cooking Light www.cookinglight.com
Preparation time: 10 minutes
1 english muffin
2 tablespoons whipped fat-free strawberry cream cheese
1/4 cup strawberries, sliced
1/4 cup red grapes, quartered
1/4 cup canned mandarin oranges, drained
Instructions: Toast the english muffin until golden brown. Spread cream cheese on toasted muffin. Arrange sliced strawberries, grapes, and orange slices on top of the cream cheese. Slice into quarters and “yummy – fruit pizza!”
1/2 Cup of Fruit per Serving
Fruit and/or Veggie Color(s): Red, Orange
Nutrition Information per serving: calories: 228, total fat: 1.3g, saturated fat: 0g, %
calories from fat: 5%, % calories from saturated fat: 0%, protein: 10g, carbohydrates:
46g, cholesterol: 5mg, dietary fiber: 4g, sodium: 374mg
Yield: 6 servings
1 teaspoon olive oil
3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
3/4 cup chopped zucchini
1/2 cup sliced carrot
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 (26-ounce) bottle fat-free tomato basil pasta sauce
2 tablespoons commercial pesto
1 (15-ounce) carton part-skim ricotta cheese
6 hot cooked lasagna noodles (about 6 ounces uncooked), cut in half
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 375º.
Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add mushrooms and the next 4 ingredients
(mushrooms through onion); cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add pasta sauce; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.
Combine pesto and ricotta in a small bowl. Spread 1/2 cup tomato mixture in the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish or pan coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 noodle halves over tomato mixture. Top noodles with half of ricotta mixture and 1 cup tomato mixture. Repeat layers, ending with noodles. Spread remaining tomato mixture over noodles; sprinkle with mozzarella.
Cover and bake at 375º for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 20 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.
Note: To make ahead, assemble as directed; stop before baking. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature; bake as directed.
Calories: 328 (30% from fat),Fat:10.9g (sat 5.4g mono 3.8g poly 0.9g),Protein:18.2g
Carbohydrate: 39g,Fiber: 3.7g,Cholesterol: 31mg,Iron: 2.9mg,Sodium: 491mg,Calcium:418mg
Cooking Light, JANUARY 2001