Steamed vegetables can be very delicious when prepared properly, and they can effectively help you achieve your weight loss goals. For best results, be sure to choose vegetables that are in season, avoid adding butter, save the water and eat a variety of different types of vegetables.
1. Choose Vegetables that Are Ripe and in Season
One of the most important diet tips to keep in mind when steaming vegetables is to choose vegetables that are ripe and in season. Vegetables that have not yet reached maturity may not only be sub-par in relation to their flavor, but also may not have had the opportunity to fully absorb the vitamins and minerals from the earth in which they are growing. For best results, ask your grocer to help you if you have questions regarding the ripeness of a particular vegetable. He or she should be able to easily give the guidance that you need.
2. Avoid Adding Butter
When steaming vegetables, people have the bad habit of adding butter, salt, oil and other flavorings to them. The addition of butter to your steamed vegetables will not only greatly increase their calorie content, but adding salt can greatly reduce the nutritional quality of the product. Salt has been not only linked to water retention and weight gain, but also has been found to be partially to blame for the development of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
3. Save the Water
A great diet tip to remember when steaming vegetables is to save the water in which the vegetables have been steamed. Research has found that steaming vegetables may actually sap some of the important vitamins and minerals that you're trying to consume. These vitamins and minerals enter the water, and are thrown out into the sink after cooking. Instead of simply throwing this water away after the vegetables have been cooked, save it and use it for a base for future soups, stews and casseroles. Carefully pour the water used for steaming the vegetables into clean, dry ice cube trays. Allow the water to completely freeze, remove from the ice cube trays and place into an airtight storage bag. The next time you feel like making a soup or broth, grab a handful of these cubes. The job will already be half done.
4. Choose a Variety of Vegetables
For best results when using steamed vegetables as part of a healthy diet, be sure to "eat across the rainbow." This means that for best health and optimal weight loss, you must eat a wide variety of different colored vegetables. Research has found that vegetables that are colored differently often have very different vitamins and mineral contents. Therefore, in order to prevent deficiency, try to get as many different types of steamed vegetables into your diet as possible.