Many people don't get all the vitamins and minerals they need from their diet, yet manage to get too many calories. This is usually attributed to not eating enough fruits and vegetables, and not eating a great enough variety of foods. All of which make it hard to lose weight.
The goal is to increase the nutrients and decrease the calories. Start by choosing legumes in place of meat at least two times per week. Legumes such as black-eyed peas, pinto beans, and navy beans pack in the nutrients with only around 140 calories per cup. They exceed the RDA for folate, and add a complex carbohydrate source to your meal with loads of soluble fiber.
Next, try swapping a piece of fruit for fruit juice. The piece of fruit contains fewer calories than the juice, and more fiber, vitamins and minerals.
For calcium, be sure your dairy products are non-fat or at least low-fat. And for a change of greenery, choose kale or bok choy (Chinese cabbage). Both are rich in calcium and iron and very low in calories.
Begin now with a few easy changes to increase vitamins and minerals and cut back on calories. Many people have found it a fun challenge to try one new healthy food every week.
Over time you'll find that you'll take the monotony out of your meals, improve your health, and trim your waistline.
Megan Porter, RD