If you’re a voracious vegetable eater, you probably have several servings of vegetables beyond the daily required amount, but do you eat too many vegetables, and is that really possible to do? At Gym Slayer in Elk Grove, CA, I get that question quite often. If three cups is good, then is six cups of vegetables even better? Eating vegetables and drinking water are both important and both have something else in common…you can get too much of them. Water intoxication that can cause a coma and even death occurs when you consume gallons of water in a short period. Eating too many vegetables consistently, more than seven servings and sides of four servings of fruit, will over time cause problems. Luckily, it’s hard to do.
No, potato chips do not count as a vegetable serving.
French fries and potato chips all come from a vegetable source—potatoes—which is a vegetable. However, it doesn’t count as a serving of vegetables when you eat. Instead, it counts as a starch. If you’re eating four servings of potatoes daily, thinking you’re consuming your servings of vegetables, you’d be wrong. In this case, starchy vegetables, like potatoes, corn, peas and lentils, don’t count as part of your vegetable intake. If you’re including these in your serving count, you definitely can eat too many vegetables.
Make your diet include a balance of vegetables.
Eat vegetables liberally, as long as you prepare them right. Don’t saute’ them in butter or serve them with a cream sauce and congratulate yourself on how healthy you’re eating. Adding sugar or salt can also make them unhealthy choices. Make sure you have variety. No matter how healthy some foods are, eating them at the exclusion of others can mean nutrient deficiency and even can cause harm. For instance, too much spinach, rhubarb or beet greens means too much oxalic acid and that can impede the absorption of calcium and iron.
Vary the color of the vegetables you eat.
Plants contain more than vitamins and minerals for your health. They contain fiber and phytonutrients. The phytonutrients give plants their color and flavor, while providing other benefits. Each color provides different health benefits. Red colored foods, like strawberries and tomatoes contain carotenoid lycopene. Orange and yellow, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, have beta cryptothanxin. Green, like broccoli and asparagus, contain sulforaphane, isocyanate, and indoles. Blue and purple have anthocyanins. Blueberries and purple cabbage are in this group. White and brown, like onions and garlic, have allicin.
- You can get more nutrients and even eat cheaper if you opt for seasonal vegetables and fruit grown locally. Buy at a farmer’s market or directly from the farmer if possible.
- Frozen vegetables are less expensive and contain just as many nutrients, if not more, than fresh. These are frozen immediately at their peak, while many of the vegetables in the grocery are picked before ripeness and spend days to the store and in it.
- While oranges and tomatoes are healthy and delicious, too many can cause stomach issues like acid reflux. They’re acidic, so stick with just a maximum of two servings daily and skip other acidic foods on those days.
- At Gym Slayer, we can help you with nutritional guidance based on your ultimate goals, preferences and needs. We make it easy by providing recipes and shopping lists as well.
For more information, contact us today at Gym Slayer