Shopping and Preparation Tips
Choose vegetables more often than fruit – every day.
Look for dark green and orange/red coloured vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, carrots, red peppers and sweet potatoes. Choose the bright orange colored fruits such as cantaloupe, mangoes and citrus fruit more often – they are all rich in antioxidants which help to reduce your risk of heart disease and cancer.
Cook vegetables by steaming, stir-frying(in a non-stick wok or skillet), simmering or microwaving. Steaming retains most of the nutrients because the vegetables do not come into contact with the cooking liquids.
Choose 100% pure fruit and vegetable juices. Fruit drinks, cocktails, beverages and punches have added sugar, contain very little real fruit juice and contain few vitamins and minerals compared to real juice. Don’t be fooled by products that claim they have real fruit or fruit juice added. Look at the ingredient list: the further down the list the fruit/fruit juice is, the less of it there is in the product. Beware of products made with concentrated fruit juices or fruit puree; they are often high in sugar and low in nutrients.
Keep in mind that unsweetened fruits and fruit juices can contain as much natural sugar as sweetened fruit drinks and regular soft drinks.
Any form of sugar can raise your triglyceride levels.
If you want less sugar, dilute your fruit juice with water, choose a vegetable juice or a piece of fruit instead. If you are trying to lose weight or if your triglycerides are elevated, replace fruit – especially dried fruit and fruit juices – with vegetables and vegetable juices.
Some vegetables are higher in calories, including beets, carrots, green peas, squash, turnip/rutabaga, parsnips, potatoes and sweet potatoes. Stick to a 125mL/ ½cup serving of these if you have diabetes, elevated triglycerides or are trying to lose weight.
✔ Replace fruits canned in syrup with those packed in their own juice or water.
✔ Keep frozen berries on hand for quick and easy desserts.
✔ Cut up vegetables on the weekend and keep them covered in the refrigerator for up to one week – great for snacks and stir-fries!
Fibre content of vegetables and fruit
|Fruit and Vegetables||Soluble fibre (g)||Total fibre (g)|
|Fruit (1 medium fruit)|
Blackberries (125mL/ ½ cup)
Citrus fruit (e.g., orange, grapefruit)
Prunes (50mL/ ¼ cup)
|Vegetables (125mL cooked)|
Quick Tip Recipes
Easy potato wedges with only a fraction of the fat!
Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly spray or brush a cookie sheet with vegetable oil. Scrub a medium potato and microwave on high until just underdone (5–7 minutes). Cut into wedges and place skin side down on cookie sheet. Lightly brush or spray the wedges with some vegetable oil and sprinkle some seasonings and/or sesame seeds on top (your choice). Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until golden. Makes 1 serving of vegetables. Yummy!
Two-cabbage ginger stir fry
In small dish mix together vinegar, water, soy sauce and cornstarch. In wok or heavy skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add ground ginger and 1 small chopped onion; stir-fry for 1 minute. Add thinly sliced cabbage and stir-fry until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Pour in soy sauce mixture and stir-fry about 1 more minute. Serve hot! Makes 3 vegetable servings. Very tasty!
15 mL (1 tbsp) vinegar
15 mL (1 tbsp) water
5 mL (1 tsp) soy sauce
5 mL (1 tsp) cornstarch.15 mL (1 tbsp)
5 mL (1 tsp) ground ginger
1 small chopped onion
500 mL (2 cups) of thinly sliced cabbage
(red, green or a combination of both)