Here on TheIronYou we always stress out the importance of choosing to eat a lot of healthy food as a way to improve the quality of life. Generally speaking fruits and veggies are identified as being the core of healthy food and healthy eating regimens. In other words the more you eat of fruits and veggies the better you’re off. That’s the general consensus among nutritionist around the world.
BUT, sometime I wonder: is it possible to exceed on healthy food consumption? Is there such a thing as eating too many veggies and fruits? Can this harmful? Is portion size also relevant when it comes to healthy food?
According to a Loyola University Health System registered dietitian the answer to this question is yes. Portion size always matters!
"While fruits are nutritious, too much of even a healthy food can lead to weight gain," said dietitian Brooke Schantz. "The key is to remember to control the portion sizes of the foods you consume."
Schantz reported that overeating healthy foods is easy to do, but the same rules apply to healthy food as junk food. Weight fluctuates based on a basic concept: energy in versus energy out. If your total caloric intake is higher than the energy you burn off in a day, you will gain weight. If it is lower, you will lose weight.
"I have had many patients tell me that they don't know why they are not losing weight," Schantz said. "Then they report that they eat fruit all day long. They are almost always shocked when I advise them to watch the quantity of food they eat even if it is healthy."
But there is one exception: non-starchy vegetables. Why? Because unless accompanied by fats (such as sauces, cheeses and/or butter) such veggies become difficult to overeat. Have you ever heard anyone telling that he’s been sick because overeating broccoli or kale? I hardly think so.
Schantz explained that this exception occurs because non-starchy vegetables have a high water and fiber content that coupled with the stretching capacity of the stomach makes them hard to eat too much.
Veggies that typically high in starch are potatoes, corn and peas.
Another area of concern is food labeled as fat-free or low fat. The fact that a particular item on the shelves of the grocery store is labeled as “healthy” doesn’t give you license to overeat it. Also being fat-free doesn’t mean that it’s also sugar free (with all the calories concerns it brings).
"People tend to give themselves the freedom to overeat 'healthy' foods," Schantz said. "While the label might say that a food or beverage is low-fat or fat-free, watch the quantity you consume and refrain from eating an excessive amount. Foods that carry these health claims may be high in sugar and calories."
When you feel like putting some food in your stomach, always resort to non-starchy veggies such as greens, celery or carrots instead of snacking on random stuff. Those veggies will fill you up pretty quickly so that you won’t reach for cookies, chips or other high calories and unhealthy snacks.
And if you feel like overeating (and cannot restrain yourself, because sometime it happens) choose healthy food: you might not be losing weight but at least you won’t do any harm to your body.
The Iron You
The above story is reprinted from materials provided by Loyola University Health System, via Newswise