Monday, September 10, 2007

Why are Fruits and Vegetables so Important?

Ever wonder why health experts always recommend eating lots of fruits and vegetables? Well, I can't speak for everyone, but my reason is simple: I recommend fruits and vegetables because it is impossible to get fat from eating them!
In fact, I think when it comes to fruits and vegetables, You just can't eat too much of them.

Here is an example to illustrate my point. A typical bacon double cheeseburger contains around 700 Kcals. Well, to get that same amount of calories from only eating fruits and vegetables you would have to eat:
  • 1 cup of strawberries
  • 1 cup of blueberries
  • 1 cup of sliced pear
  • 1 cup of sliced cucumber
  • 1 cup of chopped peppers
  • 1 whole banana
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 whole sweet onion
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 third cup of sliced almonds (thrown in to add some protein and fat)
It takes over 9 cups of Food just to equal the same amount of calories in a bacon double cheeseburger! To give you an idea of what all this food would look like take a look at this picture:

(one of these foods does not belong!)

In case you are wondering what that would look like put together into a meal, check out this picture:

(A salad for four, with a massive fruit dessert, or one bacon double cheeseburger, hold the fries)

Now, lets say that you need to eat about 3,500 calories to start putting on fat. If you were to try and eat this amount of calories from only fruits and veggies, you would need to eat that fruit salad (which could easily serve two people) and that veggie salad (which served four people at my house) FIVE times per day! Trust me, I had a hard enough time trying to get through one serving by myself, doing five in a day is next to impossible!

And this is the miracle of fruits and vegetables, they taste great and they take up a lot of space.

Here is where it gets really fun...If you make a point to eat lots of fruits and vegetables you can also eat things like a bacon double cheeseburger. Take a look at the picture of the salads and burger again. The total calorie content in that picture is around 1,400 Calories. A number low enough that just about any one would LOSE weight eating this amount of calories! In fact, you could easily throw in a good breakfast and still be eating around 1,700 calories, and be very, very full.

In fact, I did just that. With one exception. I added 150 Calories in the form of icecream to the Fruit bowl.

(Looks great, but even this was a massive amount of food to eat)

So for the day, I had two hard boiled eggs for breakfast, a massive salad for lunch (which took a lot of effort to finish), a bacon double cheeseburger for dinner and a very large bowl of fruit and ice-cream for dessert, and still managed to eat under 2,000 Calories AND I was absolutely stuffed by the end of the day.

Bottom line is if you concentrate on eating lots of fruits and vegetables, you can have treats like icecream and burgers.


Fasting Diet, Circuit Training

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Alyssa said...

good to know

Jennifer said...

That's a great reminder. Definitely need more fruits and veggies! Because I certainly like my snacks!

I was just wondering, Brad...I bought your Eat Stop Eat ebook and have been toying with the idea of fasting ever since. I'm wondering how many of the health benefits I would get by only doing one 24 hour fast per week. I'm not really heavy (140lbs, 5'6", just did fairly decently in a 12 hour adventure race), but I'm looking to be more lean and get rid of a little "chub". I'm definitetly a big fan of John Berardi and at one time followed his plan with major success. And your plan is definitely different!

Anyway...I guess I believe I could lose some of my chub with your Eat Stop Eat plan, but I'm wondering if I will still benefit in the many ways you list in your book. (That was the long-winded version of my question!) Also, is there anywhere on line that Craig Ballentyne comments on your book? Just out of curiosity...

Brad Pilon said...

Hi Jennifer,

In my opinion one fast per week is still incredibly beneficial (especially if you are eating responsibly on the other days). Craig talks about Eat Stop Eat on his site.

Hope that helps,


Anonymous said...

Great article!

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS said...

Jennifer, I'll be honest with you, when Brad first presented this idea to me, I thought he was even crazier than I already knew him to be.

Seriously, I was really skeptical, I was almost to the point where I thought I would be embarrassed by the whole thing.

Then I read it. Then I realized there are even a few other experts around promoting similar concepts.

And there are hundreds of millions of people that do this on a regular basis (i.e. Ramadan)...

Then I intereviewed Brad and got an even better understanding...

The bottom line: Its' not as radical as you might think, especially if you do the 6pm to 6pm fast on a weekend...

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

alexandria said...

i downloaded the book and what was said made alot of sense, so i have fasted twice already,,,the last few hours were like torture. Does this get easier the more you do it?also how do you combat wonting to eat a horse after you have finished,,,,,,,,,,,,

Brad Pilon said...

Hi Alexandria,

From my experiences the fasts do get easier. Also, I have found that for me, the key to not wanting to overeat at the end of the fast is to start with a smaller meal to break your fast...this seems to help.


Jodi said...

Awesome blog. I seriously feel like a different person when I up my fruit and veggie intake. There's just something about eating food that feels like it has so much life in it.

I've got a fitness blog too. Feel free to check it out:

Israel said...

glad i found this blog. i try to add fruit to my diet daily. but after reading this is going to become a staple!

KIm said...

Having this for breakfast is good fuel that will take one way beyond the lunch hour.

Anonymous said...

Great article, thanks for sharing it! Would love to feature you on, a site that helps people to live healthier. Can't find a contact form so thought I'd comment; look forward to hearing from you. Thanks, Larisa

Anonymous said...

Hi Brad,

What a great post! Since it is so hard to eat that many servings of fruits and veggies, does it help to juice them? I suffer from an autoimmunity condition of the thyroid and I have put on 50 pounds on my 5'3 frame because of it. I run 4 miles a day. I got a juicer and it seems to be doing the trick in helping lower my autoimmunity count. What are your thoughts on that subject? Is juicing the way to go?

Anonymous said...

In the era of the 64-oz. soda, the 1,200-calorie burger, food companies now produce enough each day for every American to consume 3,800 calories per day as compared to the 2,350 needed for survival. Not only adults but kids are also consuming far more calories than they can possibly use.