Everyone wants to find new ways to eat healthier and slim down without having to cut out completely all of their favorite foods, and veggies (like your mother always told you) are a great way to accomplish that goal. However, not all vegetables are created equal, and there are some that are so overrated it might give you a false sense of accomplishment to add them to your grocery cart. Know some insider info before you head to the grocery store, and you will be a step ahead of the game.
Corn is a tricky one, as its sweet consistency is often a crowd pleaser, and almost anyone would be happy with an ear slathered in salt and butter as a side dish. But it is exactly this tendency toward the unhealthy that can often make corn a poor vegetable choice. And that sweet taste? It comes from all the extra starch. In fact, corn is one of the starchiest vegetables around, making it far less good for you than some of its veggie cousins. Instead, opt for peas or some fresh green beans.
2. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are typically seen as a good alternative to its sister veggie, the white or yellow potato. But don’t let those extra nutrients fool you–sweet potatoes are still a fat buster, with plenty of carbs, sugars and starches, which is precisely what make them so delicious. Take into account the butter and brown sugar chefs typically coat the things with, and the nutrition value of the sweet potato takes a serious dive. Instead, try some butternut squash, which gives you the same nutty, sweet flavor at just a fraction of the calories and fat grams.
3. Iceberg Lettuce
Iceberg lettuce is a main component of many house salads, which could fool you into thinking it is a great vegetable option. But do not get tricked. Iceberg lettuce is practically devoid of any nutrition content at all, making for a missed nutrition opportunity when you use it as a foundation for your tossed salad. Instead, try some leafy romaine or a bib lettuce, which is tender and delicious and packed with vitamins. It is one of those easy switches that can make a huge difference in the long run. And these lettuces can be dressed up with any veggies and dressings you like.
Now, avocado might seem a surprise on this list, as it is actually filled with good for you vitamins and healthy oils. Plus, it is pretty tasty, especially when mixed into a salad, topped on burgers or whipped into some guacamole. However, the cost per pound is incredibly high. One regular sized avocado will warrant just a few tablespoons of pulp, but will cost a hefty penny. Add that to the fact that it is high in calories and fats, and it becomes clear there are better places to put your money in the produce aisle. Try some zucchini instead.
Finally, kale is one veggie you might want to think twice about before throwing in your shopping cart. Kale is incredibly trendy right now, and for good reason. It is very nutritious and versatile, with uses for many different recipes. However, it can be costly per pound, has a slightly bitter taste to some, and has a thick spine that some people don’t like. Instead, invest in some nice green spinach leaves, which should be cheaper, are also tender, and are packed with the same nutritious content as its kale sister. Plus, spinach works great as a salad base or cooked into a hot dish.
If you are looking for more ways to better your diet, consider finding a dietician or doctor with a service likeZocDoc or Yellow, or check any number of online resources such as Eatright.org for good tips on improving your diet.