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HEALTHY FOOD CHOICES VEGETABLES
MICHELLE COOPER: Next, we're going to talk about vegetables. If you look at the food guide pyramid, there's a lot of emphasis placed on eating fruits and vegetables. The American diet is sorely lacking in this area; in fact, we hardly consume enough fruits and vegetables throughout the day and much less throughout the week. You want to consume at least three to five servings from the fruit and vegetable group. When choosing your vegetables, it's always best to choose fresh; although, frozen and canned still have nutritional value and benefits as well. Also, look for vegetables that are bright in color like this red pepper, also carrots that are brightly orange and brightly-colored green broccoli. The brighter the color, the more nutrients that are in it. Vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals that your body needs, but they also have antioxidants in them. Antioxidants are actually disease-fighting compounds. They fight off free radicals and they can help in the prevention of certain diseases like cancer and heart disease. Vitamins are also--I mean, excuse me, vegetables are also low in calories and have no fat in them unless you add fat to them, so they are a great source of nutrition for anybody that's trying to lose weight or maintain weight. So remember, fresh vegetables are always better but frozen and canned are okay. Number two, look for brightly colored vegetables and an assortment of them; and number three, if you're trying to lose weight or maintain some sort of weight loss, vegetables are a great way to fill up without adding a lot of extra calories.