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Eat more to weigh less says 5+ A Day

30 October 2012

Eat more to weigh less says 5+ A Day

With 28% of New Zealand adults obese and 37% overweight 5+ A Day says Kiwis can eat more to weigh less by simply substituting high calorie foods with more fruit and vegetables.

By eating more fruit and vegetables nutritionist Bronwen Anderson says you can feel full, satisfied, have loads of variety and can still lose weight. Bronwen says the work of world-leading weight-loss researcher and professor of nutritional sciences at Penn State University, Dr Barbara Rolls, shows the trick to losing weight is to substitute foods into the diet that have a high water content.

“Water-rich foods such as fruit and vegetables not only help control hunger by filling you up, but they also do it with fewer calories,” Bronwen says. “Strategically incorporating fruit and vegetables into your daily diet means you will still eat a satisfying amount of food but fewer calories. Barbara’s work shows people who eat the most fresh fruit and vegetables tend to have the healthiest body weight and gain less weight through their adult years.”

Maintaining a healthy body weight was one of the issues raised at an international obesity conference in Auckland recently. “We need to break the dieting mentality and take personal responsibility for the role we are playing in our children and grandchildren’s future health, and start thinking about our health legacy,” Bronwen says.

The month-long 5+ A Day ‘Add An Extra Serving’ Challenge kicking off on November 1, is urging New Zealanders to add an extra serving of fruit or vegetable to their day, to boost their health and help shrink their waistlines.

The Challenge celebrates 5+ A Day Fruit and Vegetable Month and will be run through the 5+ A Day Facebook page where people will be able to find recipes and tips on how to add an extra serving to their day. “Few foods offer the multitude of benefits that you get by eating more fruit and vegetables. Studies show that people whose diets include a lot of fruit and vegetables are less likely to develop heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, certain cancers and obesity,” Bronwen says.

Colour is key when buying fruit and vegetables to ensure you are getting the full spectrum of phytochemicals and nutrients that are abundant in fresh produce. “Eating a rainbow of colour every day is the best thing you can do for your body and overall wellbeing,” says Bronwen. “Red coloured produce like tomatoes, apples and capsicum helps maintain a healthy heart, memory function and urinary tract health. Green produce like kiwifruit, broccoli and spinach helps maintain strong bones and teeth and may protect from certain types of cancer such as mouth, throat and stomach. The best way to shop for fruit and vegetables is to go for variety, colour and freshness.”

The 5+ A Day ‘Add An Extra Serving’ Challenge runs 1-30 November 2012. Go to for more details, tips and recipes. Go to or Fredge_5Aday on Twitter.

Top 5+ A Day tips to help take the 5+ A Day Challenge this November and:

Add an extra serving at Breakfast…

• Add fruit to cereal, tomatoes or mushrooms on toast, try spinach, onion, grated courgette, fresh herbs in an omelette
• Grated or minced broccoli and cauliflower works really well in scrambled eggs
• Use your left over roasted vegetables to make a frittata
• Blend it! Throw a banana and berries in a blender with some milk, yogurt or orange juice and drink a serving

Add an extra serving at Lunch or Dinner…

• Making pasta for dinner? See how many vegetables you can add: try spinach, onion, leek, mushroom, asparagus, corn, tomatoes, rocket
• Spaghetti Bolognaise is so much better with grated carrot, courgette, onion and mushroom
• Just because the recipe doesn’t include a particular vegetable doesn't mean you can’t add it. Give it try with mushroom, onion, potato and spinach. They can make great additions to omelettes, pastas, pies and hash browns
• Load sandwiches, burritos, wraps and rolls with avocado, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, grated carrot, finely diced red onion, capsicum and beetroot
• Homemade pizzas are a great meal the whole family can help with. Just about everything works on a pizza from greens and tomato to root vegetables like roasted potato, kumara or pumpkin. Fruit like pineapple works well too
• Add extra grated vegetables to your sauces, you can load up a simple tomato sauce with pureed carrot, capsicum or silver beet
• For a healthier option replace the hollandaise on your weekend eggs benedict with mashed avocado and wilted greens (be sure to squeeze the water out of the greens so your toast or muffin doesn’t go soggy)

Add an extra serving with Dessert…

• Fruit platters make the easiest dessert platter any time of year. Chop up what is in season now for great taste and value. Arrange the fruit in a rainbow for a really cool touch
• Baked or barbequed fruit is so easy and delicious. Glaze with brown sugar, balsamic and ginger or cinnamon

Add an extra serving at Snack Time…

• It’s amazing how fast chopped up fruit disappears. Try it at home or work. Mix yogurt and honey in a bowl for a quick dip
• Add grated carrot and courgette to your homemade muffins
• Vegetable sticks with tomato salsa make a great snack for every day or arranged on a platter when entertaining. Everyone will thank you for cutting the fat and calories leading up to Christmas


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