At least 3 - 4 servings of vegetables each day
Choose a wide variety from week to week.
Vegetables are a great source of fibre, vitamins and minerals. The aim is to eat a variety of vegetables of different types and colours every day. Frozen vegetables provide a good alternative to fresh if fresh is unavailable or out of season and too expensive.
Vegetables are classified as quality carbohydrates, there are two basic groups for vegetables;
Low carbohydrate - these vegetables contain only minimal amounts of carbohydrates while containing plenty of vitamins, minerals and fibre
Starchy or high carbohydrate - often root vegetables and corn. Starches, like sugars raise blood glucose levels and when there are disproportionate levels in the diet, can contribute to weight gain.
Try to fill half the plate with non-starchy vegetables at lunch or dinner meals
A sample serving is approximately -
½ cup - cooked vegetables / 1 cup - salad vegetables - .e.g. lettuce
Non-starchy vegetables and salad vegetables include -
▪ Broccoli, spinach lettuce, capsicum
▪ Pumpkin, carrots
▪ Red cabbage, tomatoes
▪ Cauliflower, cabbage, onions
Aim to limit starchy vegetables to quarter of the plate at lunch or dinner
As carbohydrates, starchy vegetables replace breads or grains (e.g. rice), pasta, or noodles in a meal
Starchy vegetables including potato, kumara, taro, yams, corn, parsnips, breadfruit and cassava are high in carbohydrate so should be eaten in moderate amounts. Use these as a substitute for grains or breads in a meal and limit to no more than a 1/4 of the plate.
A sample serving of starchy vegetables is:
1 small potato
1/2 cup kumara, parsnip or corn
3 small yams
Have plenty of variety of types and colours, that’s key.