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Stealthy Vegetables

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Vegetables are the all-around healthiest food you can eat!

They are rich in vitamins, minerals, and other healthy plant compounds. A high intake is linked to decreased risk of many chronic diseases.

Vegetables are also very low in "energy density," meaning that they have relatively few calories for a given weight. Individuals usually eat a consistent amount of food by weight every day, so eating low energy-dense food means you would consume fewer total calories, which would help weight control.

Vegetables are low in energy density because they are high in water and fiber, usually low in sugar, and practically fat-free.

So, if vegetables are so healthy for us, why doesn't everyone eat more vegetables and less unhealthy food? The main reason is that people claim they don't like many vegetables. You may like vegetables, but your spouse and kids don't and refuse to eat enough. What to do?

Be sneaky! Puree them into other foods!

In a study by researchers at Pennsylvania State University the amount of vegetables was manipulated in entrees by adding various combinations of pureed carrots, squash, and cauliflower to bread, macaroni and cheese, and chicken casserole. The college student participants could eat as much as they wanted of various energy-dense meals until they were full.

The result was that the students who ate the meals with the pureed vegetables consumed 350 fewer calories a day! They found hardly any difference in taste or texture, and preferred many of the entrees loaded with the pureed vegetables.

So, get sneaky and get healthy by adding pureed vegetables to your meals.