Simple Ways to Reduce Calories when Preparing Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support overall health. Unfortunately, the calories in fruits and vegetables can add up quickly when prepared in certain ways. Fortunately, there are simple ways to reduce calories when preparing fruits and vegetables to help you reach your nutrition goals.
Choose Low-Calorie Additions
One of the easiest ways to reduce the calorie content of your fruits and vegetables is to select low-calorie additions. For example, when making a fruit salad, opt for low-fat yogurt instead of full-fat cream and use a small amount of honey rather than white sugar. Additionally, when preparing vegetables, use a sprinkle of olive oil, a hint of spices, or plain Greek yogurt regularly instead of high-calorie dressings and sauces.
Pair Them with a Healthy Protein
Pairing fruits and vegetables with healthy proteins can help reduce the total calorie content of your meal. For example, top a salad of leafy greens with salmon or tuna; serve vegetables as a side to grilled chicken or shrimp; or make a sandwich with low-fat cheese, lean cuts of deli meat, and plenty of vegetables.
Include High-Fiber Choices
Include plenty of high-fiber produce such as apples, raspberries, oranges, cucumbers, and kale as part of regular meals and snacks. High-fiber foods can help keep you feeling full, reducing the overall number of calories ingested. Thus, adding a cup of raspberries to your morning breakfast or enjoying a side of cucumber salad before dinner help keep calories in check.
Try These Prep Ideas
Bake or Grill
Roasting, baking, or grilling fruits and vegetables is a great way to keep calories in check. Choose lean cuts of meat, such as chicken thighs and pork loin, to keep the calorie content of your meal low, while still including plenty of flavor. For added flavor, try seasoning with a sprinkle of olive oil, garlic, or your favorite spices.
Raw fruits and vegetables can be a great addition to any meal and usually require no preparation. Enjoy an apple or banana as an afternoon snack or a side of chopped vegetables with meals. This can also help reduce your overall calorie intake.
With just a few swaps to your regular diet and preparation techniques, you can easily reduce the number of calories from your fruits and vegetables. Making simple changes such as these can help you reach your nutrition and health goals.