It’s possible to have too much of a good thing, even when you’re talking about fruit and vegetables. Anyone trying to lose weight should eat more fruit and vegetables but it’s important to keep in mind that losing weight is about burning more calories than you take in. Eating too many fruit calories is more likely, but a veggie-centric diet can also lead to nutrition deficiencies.
Calories in, calories out
Without a doubt, fruit and vegetables are the healthiest foods. As part of a healthy diet and healthy lifestyle, most people can eat as much as they want. . However, when it comes to calories, the same rules apply to healthy food as junk food. The standard rule for losing weight is to eat 500 fewer calories than your body needs every day to lose one pound in a week.
Fruit vs. vegetables
Although overconsumption could lead to gastrointestinal and nutritional issues, vegetables are very low in calories compared to fruit. Fruit has almost three times the calories per serving as nonstarchy vegetables due to natural sugars, which contain the same amount of calories per gram as refined sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Eating too much fruit can also displace other vital minerals in the diet and along with the sugars, promote tooth decay.
Dr. Melina Jampolis, a nutrition columnist for CNN, suggests limiting your fruit servings to a maximum of three per day and to pay attention to serving sizes. It’s easy to take in more calories than you realize when one serving of fruit is equal to just a half cup, according to the USDA. She also recommends eating only fresh or frozen fruit. Dried fruit, fruit cups and fruit juice are higher in calories, lower in fiber and easier to overeat.
Potential vegetable pitfalls
The most common problem with eating too many vegetables may be indigestion. Vegetables are high in fiber, which most people don’t get enough of. But too much fiber can cause bloating, excess flatulence and diarrhea.
Because vegetable pH is on the alkaline side, eating too many can lead to kidney stones. Vegetables like spinach, celery and tomatoes contain a lot of oxalic acid, which can combine with calcium from other foods to form calcium oxalate, the raw material of kidney stones.
For women trying to lose weight, it’s important to avoid anemia. Displacing other healthy foods such as fish and eggs with vegetables can lead to an iron deficiency, as well as hinder the absorption of essential fatty acids and quality protein.
Non-starchy veggies best
Most people trying to lose weight and get healthier should limit starchy vegetables such as potatoes, peas and corn. However, indulge freely in non-starchy vegetables, especially dark-green leafy vegetable such as chard, kale, and spinach, as well as cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, and mustard greens. Non-starchy vegetables also have a high water and fiber content, which will help you feel fuller without a lot of calories.