Adding fruits and veggies to your diet is easier said than done. Eating fruits and vegetables have a lot of health benefits. People who eat a balanced diet lower their risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, obesity, and high blood pressure. The USDA recommends that adults eat 5-13 servings a day. That seems like a lot of fruits and veggies.
Don’t let cost, taste, or just sheer amount, hold you back from eating a balanced diet. It’s not always easy, but there are a lot of myths about eating well that make healthy eating intimidating.
Here’s a few ways to get around them.
Myth: It’s too expensive.
It doesn’t have to be! Be strategic about how you shop.
- Check out which fruits and veggies are in season. Change up your diet according to sales and time of year. Foods that are in season are cheaper. Knowing what they are helps keep you from breaking the bank. This fall, try squash, pear, pumpkin, apple, sweet potato, kale, fennel, mushrooms, broccoli, beets, grapes, cranberries, and leeks into your diet.
- You can also save money by purchasing some frozen fruits and veggies. Another myth is that frozen vegetables aren’t as healthy as fresh ones. This just isn’t true. Frozen veggies are frozen at their peak point of freshness and can actually be healthier than the ones you pick up in the produce section.
- Check out our blog series featuring healthy recipes to prepare on a budget.
Myth: It’s too much, I can’t eat it all in one day
There are tons of ways to add servings of fruits and vegetables into your diet just by thinking a little bit out of the box.
- Try mixing them in with other things. Mix some bell pepper and spinach into your scrambled eggs, throw a serving of greens into a smoothie, or put fruit into your yogurt or cereal.
- When a recipe calls for vegetables, double the amount it calls for. Lots of recipes for things like soups, pastas, sandwiches, pizzas, and casseroles include a set amount of vegetables that can easily be doubled to increase your intake.
- Do you have picky eaters, or are you one? Get our advice!
Myth: If I don’t like the taste, there’s no way I can stomach enough servings.
It’s all about being sneaky.
- Grated zucchini in meatloaf, chopped carrots into a pasta sauce, or a layer of spinach into a lasagna are great ways to hide a serving of vegetables into some of your favorite foods.
- Mashed potatoes, mac & cheese, or burgers are some other favorites that you can easily slip a serving of veggies into.
It’s all about creativity and thinking ahead. By planning your meals and thinking about how to incorporate fruits and vegetables into them ahead of time, it makes it a lot easier to get those servings and reap the health benefits of a well-balanced diet.
Get more tips on healthy meal planning by watching this video: