Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving

The truth about vegetables that will make you fat

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Image: The courgette I forgot to pick by Caroline on Flickr. Used under a Creative Commons Licence.

 

Following on the heels of my post last week about greens vs grains is another diatribe stemming from an article I found online. This one? 5 Vegetable Foods That Make You Fat.

What are these insidious vegetables? Vegetable tempura, veggie chips, vegetable juice, vegetable smoothies, and vegetable dips. Was anyone under the impression that these are sound dietary choices on par with fresh vegetables? I’d hazard a guess that most people would realize that deep frying, adding sugar, and adding a smattering of vegetables to a creamy cheesy base is not the same as eating a salad or a carrot. Even so, these foods are not inherently fattening. You can eat them and not get fat. As with any food, it’s the amount you eat that matters. I’d even argue that home made vegetable juice and smoothies can be a nutritious choice. Even vegetable dips can be healthy if you make them with Greek yoghurt.

Why do we keep having to label foods as “good” or “bad” anyway? It’s rarely that simple. Even if you’re having vegetable chips you may be consuming less sodium and more fibre than if you were consuming potato chips. Even if you’re not, is that really so bad if it’s an occasional treat? We need to stop calling foods “bad” and “good”. This only leads to unhealthy relationships with food and greater desire for those forbidden “bad” foods.

The real lessons from this article: 1. don’t read articles that tell you X, Y, or Z will make you fat (or skinny, for that matter), 2. prepare your own meals the majority of the time. If you’re making your own meals you can control what goes into them (and what doesn’t) and you can make a perfectly healthy and delicious veggie smoothie.

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Author: Diana

I'm a registered dietitian from Nova Scotia, living and working in Ontario, Canada. My goal is to help people relearn how to have a healthy relationship with food.

3 thoughts on “The truth about vegetables that will make you fat

  1. I wholeheartedly agree. Eating whole foods that you cook at home seems to be the healthiest way to go. There is too much processed foods being made. I wrote about this on my site, Contented Belly referencing the book Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss. I would love if you could check it out and let me know your thoughts. http://contentedbelly.com/2015/05/18/processed-foods/. Thanks!

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  2. Thank you for your sane article! There is so much misinformation on the internet (from misinterpreted erroneous conclusions, to jazzed up statements for sensationalism to get you to click on something, to outright fraudulent information to get you to buy their products) it’s nice to read something with some common sense!

    One thing you may have missed, is that “greek yogurt” supposedly has a lot of acid whey that is removed and is a toxic waste product that they do not know how to get rid of safely. The yogurt is healthy to eat, but is not very environmentally responsible. (Something I read on the internet.)

    Best of luck to you; and please keep up the good work!

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    • Thanks so much Dave!

      I’ve read that about the whey leftover from Greek yoghurt as well. There are plenty of ways to use whey so hopefully the commercial yoghurt producers are adopting some, or reselling the whey, in order to reduce waste and maximize profit.

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