Healthy Vegetables for Weight Loss

Healthy Vegetables for Weight Loss

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Vegetables provide lots of nutrients for relatively few calories. Images

Eating fruits and vegetables may help you manage your weight, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Replacing higher-calorie foods with vegetables can increase the vitamin and mineral content of your meal and help you feel full while lowering the amount of calories you consume. However, some vegetables make better choices for people on a diet than others.

Vegetables With a High Water Content

Vegetables that consist mostly of water tend to be among those lowest in energy density, meaning they don't have a lot of calories per serving. Low-energy-density foods help with weight loss because they fill you up without a lot of calories, helping you stay within your daily calorie goals. Vegetables that contain the most water per 1-cup serving include pumpkin and other winter squashes, sweet potatoes, spinach, beans, onions, collard greens, tomatoes, asparagus, cauliflower, okra, broccoli, pak choi, corn, rutabagas and beets.

Vegetables High in Fiber

Increasing the amount of fiber you consume by eating more fruits and vegetables can help you lose more weight than you would if you consumed a diet lower in fiber, according to a study published in "Nutrition Research" in 2008. The vegetables highest in fiber, with at least 5 grams per 1-cup serving, include beans, artichokes, peas, collard greens, pumpkin, spinach, Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, parsnips, broccoli and turnip greens.

Other Non-starchy Vegetables

Non-starchy vegetables tend to be lower in calories than starchy vegetables, so they make good choices when you are on a diet. Cucumbers, lettuce and other salad greens, broccoli, beets, water chestnuts, artichokes, asparagus, summer squash, turnips, sprouts, radishes, mushrooms, bell peppers, celery, jicama, kohlrabi, carrots, green beans and cabbage are all examples of non-starchy vegetables.


Frying your vegetables in lots of oil or topping them with cheese, butter or full-fat salad dressing can negate some of their weight-loss benefits because it increases their energy density and the amount of calories they contain. This doesn't mean you should avoid all fat, since you'll need to include at least a small amount of fat with your meal to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins found in the vegetables you eat. Replace some of the eggs, meat or cheese in soups, sandwiches, egg dishes, casseroles, pasta sauce and meat dishes with vegetables to lower the energy density in each serving.