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fruits and vegetables !?

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Old 01-27-2011, 09:29 PM   #1
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i was wondering if there are fruits and vegetables that are a lot better for you than other? i know this might be a really dumb question, but i'm asking anyway, haha. i've noticed that grapefruit is in a lot of diet plans. is is better than, say an apple? or celery, ugh --unless lathered in peanut butter, haha, is a known negative calorie food. what are some other negative calorie vegatable? or fruit? and are carrots good, do they not have a lot of natural sugar or am i wrong? bc they are the only vegetables i can stand to eat plain !
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Old 01-28-2011, 01:43 AM   #2
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I think a lot of that "____ is a Miracle Food!" stuff is overblown. Food isn't poison, it isn't medicine, it's just...food. Fortunately we live in a golden age of rationality and Google, so it's possible to look directly at nutrition information on a prospective snack. I find the stuff I want to eat by choosing what I like first, then looking it up and seeing how much of it I should have if I want to continue to lose weight. If I see nutritional info that I don't like (who knew persimmons were tasty little calorie-bombs?), then I just eat less of that thing.

I'm convinced grapefruit is on a lot of diet menus as punishment for having gotten fat in the first place. Actually, it purportedly has enzymes that make it a "fat-burner," but there's zero evidence that they work that way inside the human body. Most grapefruit diets work because filling your belly with relatively low-calorie grapefruit means you aren't able to fill it with high-calorie foods.

On the other hand, eating most "miracle food" likely won't do any harm. From the "Can't Hurt, Might Help" standpoint, choosing grapefruit (or oat bran or acai berry juice or whatever the latest must-have food is) occasionally is fine. If you want to optimize your health, a good rule of thumb is to "eat the rainbow"--pick fruits and vegetables of a wide color range and you'll probably get a broader range of nutrients as well.

Lucky Charms, by the way, do not count as "eating the rainbow," unfortunately.

Non-starchy vegetables tend to be a lot more weight-loss-friendly than the starchy ones like potatoes and corn. You can eat piles of them for very little calorie cost. That doesn't make the high-carb ones bad, but they are more calorie-dense. So are most fruits (vile grapefruit is an exception; it's low-calorie because it's so nasty that even calories flee from that acrid horror).

As for the "negative calorie food" thing, it is (sadly) a myth. Even celery has calories, and they are indeed positive calories; the chewing and digestion of celery doesn't burn more calories than the celery itself contains.

Congratulations on your 40-pound loss so far, by the way! That is outstanding and I can't wait to get to where you are.
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Old 01-28-2011, 04:12 AM   #3
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I don't think any fruits or vegetables are necessarily "better" for you than others, they all just have different nutrition values. A large apple has about 110 calories, 22 g sugar, 5 g fiber. A whole grapefruit has 104 calories, 17 g sugar, 4 g fiber. If you're focusing on lower calories or lower sugar, you might choose the grapefruit (since a serving is 1/2 the grapefruit, not the whole thing). If you want more fiber, you might choose the apple. Or maybe you want the high amounts of vitamins A and C from the grapefruit. Is the apple better than the grapefruit or the grapefruit better than the apple? No.

As for carrots, it depends on how much sugar you think is "a lot". They've got more sugar than celery, but significantly less than that apple.

There's a wide variety of fruits and veggies out there, and if you can't stand some of them plain or at all, that's okay! Adding peanut butter to celery doesn't deplete it's nutrients, plus the peanut butter is full of nutrition as well, you'd just have to watch the amount if you're watching your calories.

Like Nola said, there aren't really any "negative" calorie foods. If they've got calories they're positive ones, no matter how many people want to claim that the calories it takes to chew and digest cancel them out.

Anyway, I really wouldn't worry too much about which fruits and veggies are "good". They're fruits and veggies, they're all good, just in different ways. Some people watch carbs so they avoid some veggies, others watch sugars so they avoid fruits. It all depends on you as to what fruits and veggies you're going to eat.
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:52 PM   #4
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Thank you both. & nola, i'm sure you'll be here soon !
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:16 PM   #5
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Deep colors tend to signify more antioxidants, so often the deepest colored fruits and veggies are considered the "superfoods," and there are some interesting superfood books that are fun to read, but none of them should be taken as "eat only these," and "never eat those..."

The best strategy, in my opinion is focusing on variety by eating a lot of different colors and types rather than trying to stick to a "superfood" list.

I love trying new fruits and vegetables. I even love grapefruit (but can't eat them often because of my medications).

Tonight I had bought a couple blood oranges. The blood orange has a red or red/purple inside (the ones I bought were deep purple red), very juicy and sweet with a flavor of sweet orange with a hint of raspberries.


Sprouts are often called a superfood, because they're often more nutritious than the adult plan, but I like them for another reason. Tasty, cheap, and fun to grow.

Seeds for sprouting seem expensive (about $.30 - $3 per ounce, or $5 - $35 per pound), but a very small amount of seeds makes a huge crop of sprouts. Compared to the price of sprouts in the grocery store, it's about 1/10th the price to grow them at home, and they're so much tastier.

Sproutpeople.org is a really cool website. Not only can you buy sprout seeds, sprout equipment, and books; they have instructions for sprouting almost every sprout you'd want to grow.
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