Fruits, vegetables don’t guarantee weight loss

Is it true that eating more vegetables and fruit helps you lose weight? I’ve been trying, but my weight hasn’t budged.

Eating more vegetables and fruits is one great strategy to promote health both directly, through the nutrients and protective phytochemicals you get, and indirectly, through help in reaching and maintaining a healthy weight.

However, adding more vegetables and fruits will only promote weight loss if it helps you reduce total calorie consumption.

Here are steps you can take to achieve that goal:

First, make sure you eat vegetables and fruits that are low in calories. Most vegetables are naturally low in calories, but if they are deep-fried or served smothered in cheese or with high-calorie dips, they are no longer low-calorie.

Select fiber-rich whole fruit — fresh or plain frozen — and limit fruit juice and dried fruits since they are more concentrated in calories.

Second, substitute these low-calorie vegetables and fruits for higher-calorie foods.

Do this by adding more vegetables to stews, soups, casseroles and stir-fries without adding more fat.

As you add more vegetables to these dishes, cut back on the amount of meat and rice or pasta you use.

You can also serve larger side portions of vegetables that are steamed, microwaved or stir-fried with just a bit of oil and flavored with citrus juice, vinegar or a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese.

If you add fruit to an already large bowl of cereal, cut back on the cereal portion.

Snack on vegetables or fruit instead of chips, not in addition to them. If you’re still having trouble, try tracking your calorie consumption with a website or smartphone app, or see a registered dietitian to help you figure out why you are having trouble losing weight.

For more information, go to the website http://www.aicr.org. AICR is a member of the World Cancer Research Fund International.