It is no secret that vegetables aid in weight loss because of their high levels of nutrients, fiber and tendency to contain very few calories. But for some, eating vegetables is not easy. Toward that end, there are many healthy fruits and legumes you can substitute for vegetables, which contain the same nutritional benefits. For example, by eating strawberries instead of spinach you will still be consuming the adequate amount of calcium, fiber and a low level of calories as contained in a leafy green vegetable. There are several examples of fruit substitutes for vegetables.
Things You'll Need
Options for replacing vegetable
Substitute leafy green vegetables such as spinach, romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce and kale, all of which contain folate to aid in digestion, with fruits that are high in folate, such as oranges, papaya, strawberries, melon and cantaloupe.
Substitute vegetables high in potassium with fruits that are also high in potassium. Many people feel better taking potassium during weight-loss programs to help with fatigue or weakness. Instead of eating broccoli, peas, lima beans, tomatoes and potatoes, substitute oranges, bananas, apples and dried apricots.
Increase water consumption to help you feel full longer, boost your energy levels and increase your metabolism by eating fruits that are also high in water content. Instead of eating vegetables such as cucumbers, celery, lettuce and tomatoes, try eating cherries, melon, grapes, pineapple, mango and papaya.
Another option, if you dislike vegetables, is to incorporate more legumes into your diet. Legumes contain high amounts of fiber, as well as protein, to help you feel full longer. These include lima, kidney, garbanzo and pinto beans, as well as lentils and edamame.
Tips & Warnings
- Taking a multivitamin is always recommended during a weight-loss program.
- Don't limit your intake of fruits to only those listed above, as all fruits contain nutritional value.
- Eat fresh fruit rather than canned when possible.
- Eat whole fruit rather than juice when possible.
- For optimum weight loss, include a variety of other food groups in your diet, such as whole grains, low-fat protein, legumes, low-fat dairy and heart-healthy oils.
- If you choose not to eat vegetables at all, make sure to eat extra fruits and legumes in order to get enough nutrients and fiber. By consuming an all-protein and fat diet, you may be at risk of developing health problems down the road.
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