Harvard Medical School just published a report highlighting the many advantages of adding fresh fruits and vegetables to your diet.

The advantages include: 

• Blood pressure control
• Lower cholesterol
• Keeps arteries flexible
• Protects bones
• Keeps your eyes, brain, digestive system and every organ in your body healthier

The Harvard Medical School suggests eating 1 cup of fruit and 1 ½ cups of vegetables every day. It may take a little imagination but it can be done for every person and lifestyle.

Harvard recommendations for giving your diet a boost:

• Setting a goal to improve current intake.
• Adding vegetables to your pasta dishes, to pasta sauce and to stews.
• Try something new every few days. When tired of apples and bananas, try kiwi, fresh pineapple or mango.
• Blend fruits to make home-made smoothies.
• Dip vegetables in humus, bean spread or yogurt.
• Spread smashed avocado over bread.
• Eat omelets with vegetables for breakfast.
• Drink vegetable juice.
• Take advantage of prepared foods at the store.
• Add spices, cinnamon or vanilla to blends to fruit.

This report summarizes the advice I give to my patients and reflects the basics of my book, The Step Up Diet. I have my own set of rules to make life simpler to those who want to improve their diet. These rules become more important for parents of small children, as kids learn and create habits – good and bad – based on what they see at home.

When I meet expectant parents during my prenatal class, I always emphasize the importance of reviewing the couples’ eating routine in order to suggest changes before the arrival of the baby.

The following rules apply to anybody over 1 year of age who can eat table food:

• Eat 4 meals/day: Breakfast, lunch, mid-afternoon snack and dinner.
• Eat fruit with each one of those meals.
• Add at least two different vegetables to lunch and dinner.
• Allow 3-4 hours in between meals.
• Drink 2 % milk with meals and water in between meals (if thirsty).

As simple as it looks, this advice brings dramatic results. A mother told me recently how, after the birth of her baby, she completely lost the schedule of her meals and started eating small snacks throughout the day, until she realized she had gained 10 pounds! She was able to shed the pounds quickly just by following the above routine and the QQT rule: Quality food (home-made, fresh), Quantity (one serving per meal) and Timing (eating only 4 meals with 3-4 intervals in between). After this simple change to her diet, she reported that she felt more rested and energized.

Often the best answer is not the most complicated one, but the one we are willing to follow.

 


Get more healthy-living tips in my new book! Available for Kindle and paperback. 

In her new book, “The Step Up Diet”, Dr. Katalenas teaches readers how to adopt healthier eating habits and a more active lifestyle. “The Step Up Diet” isn’t just about losing weight. It creates a lifestyle that your children will follow into adulthood. Learn all of the secrets and order your copy today! 

 

About the Author

Dr. Katalenas

Dr. Katalenas is a pediatrician and owner of The Pediatric Center of Round Rock and the author of the book "The Step Up Diet: From Scratch… The Quality, Quantity, and Timing Solution to Childhood Obesity", a guide to healthy cooking and eating for busy families.