- Yes, It Is Possible to Eat Too Many Vegetables
- I quit eating salad for good and I’ve never felt healthier
- The INSIDER Summary:
- But this summer I learned that salad, unfortunately, just may be my body’s enemy.
- My concern quickly turned into an unhealthy obsession.
- I decided to ditch salads for good.
- But is there any truth to the results of my experiment, or is it just pure coincidence?
- The important thing is eating what makes you feel good and best fuels your body.
- Trying to eat healthy but finding that your green-packed lunch is giving you a sour stomach? Here’s why.
- Why Do I Always Have Diarrhea After I Eat Salad? Are There Any Home Remedies?
- Causes of diarrhea after eating salads:
- Home remedies and preventive methods to treat diarrhea after eating salad:
- 15 of the Worst Fruits and Vegetables You Can Eat
- 1. Pineapple
- 2. Corn
- 3. Cherries
- 4. Coconut
- 5. Pomegranate
- 6. Mango
- 7. Potato
- 8. Bananas
- 9. Winter squash
- 10. Figs
- 11. Jicama
- 12. Watermelon
- 13. Brussels sprouts
- 14. Eggplant
- 15. Onion
- 9 Fruits and Vegetables That Aren’t Actually All That Healthy
- Dried Fruit
- Iceberg Lettuce
- Fruit Juice
- Veggie Chips
Yes, It Is Possible to Eat Too Many Vegetables
The catch-all mantra “Eat better, not less!” is often paired with images of voluptuous and vegetable-filled plates — great heaps of greens, leaves, and cruciferous clusters of fiber-rich foods practically spill over the sides of their ceramic platters. But is loading up solely on vegetables really such a good idea?
No, it is not. In fact, it’s a really bad idea.
Eating too many vegetables could be just as unhealthy as eating not enough vegetables, just in a different way. All those health bloggers with plates composed solely of veggies and a drizzle of tahini are actually fostering some really unhealthy habits.
We all know what happens when you eat too much fat, too much sugar, or too much sodium. The effects, ranging from diabetes to heart disease, are practically shoved down our throats — much more so than any of those foods are actually shoved down our throats in the level of excess required to cause those drawbacks. But here’s why it’s possible to eat too many vegetables.
That’s, like, so much fiber
You’re supposed to have around 25 grams per day, according to the National Institutes of Health’s guidelines. A cup of vegetables (depending, of course, on the vegetable) contains 8 grams on average. Four cups of vegetables already puts you over the bar. To give you some reference, the average small bowl holds about three to four cups.
A large plateful is absolutely already more than your daily value.
That being said, it’s okay to eat more than your recommended daily value of fiber. The NIH guideline represents an ideal intake, not a maximum, and many people eat more than 25 grams of fiber a day without experiencing any consequences. The trouble happens when you far exceed the amount your stomach can handle — an uncomfortable experience that can result in digestive distress, gas, bloating, and severe constipation.
It can also cause nutrient deficiencies. When your stomach is so preoccupied trying to process all those plants, it doesn’t have any capacity to absorb the other nutrients you’re eating. Hence: deficiency. Too many vegetables could actually make your other food less healthy.
Your skin can turn orange
Like you hit the tanning bed and it went so wrong.
Many vegetables contain carotenoids — a compound found in orange plants that can be immensely helpful for the health of your eyesight. However, in excess the compound gets circulated through your blood and can end up showing on your skin. The discoloration is only temporary, and it’s not actually harmful — it’s just awkward.
There is a threshold beyond which vegetables are no longer good for you
Your body can only process so much of the same nutrient at one time. Just like eating too many multivitamins doesn’t infinitely fill you with nutrients, neither does eating too many vegetables.
Where’s the sweet spot? According to results from a recent study, three to four servings of vegetables was deemed ideal. Any more than that, and the longevity benefits dissipated.
You’ll trick your brain into thinking you’re full when you need to eat more
Since your stomach will be filled to the brim with stems and leaves, you won’t have much room for the other types of foods you need to stay healthy. Without even realizing it, you could end up undereating some key nutrients such as protein, fats, and carbohydrates (all of which are kind of a big deal).
We could all stand to think about the bias we have in favor vegetables over all other food. Why is it that eating too many vegetables — a dietary habit with just as many health drawbacks as too much of any other food — is never shamed or looked down upon, but eating too much meat, dairy, or carbohydrates is?
Too much of anything is probably not a good idea. If you’re curious about other healthy foods’ effects when consumed in excess, here’s what happens to your body if you eat too much protein.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is advising folks to avoid eating any and all romaine lettuce while they get to the bottom of an E. coli outbreak that has infected 32 people in 11 U.S. states and 18 people in Canada, and for which the repeat offender leafy green is the most likely culprit.
Investigators have yet to pinpoint the source—or even a common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand—hence the abundantly cautious blanket warning.
“Consumers who have any type of romaine lettuce in their home should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick,” reads the alert. “This advice includes all types or uses of romaine lettuce, such as whole heads of romaine, hearts of romaine, and bags and boxes of precut lettuce and salad mixes that contain romaine, including baby romaine, spring mix, and Caesar salad.” Restaurants and retailers are being similarly advised not to serve or sell any romaine lettuce products.
The CDC, Food and Drug Administration (FDA), state and local agencies, and The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and Canadian Food Inspection Agency, are all working together to determine the source of the outbreak. Currently, the FDA is conducting its traceback investigation and conducting lab analysis on lettuce samples that may be linked to the outbreak. So far, they detected the Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 strain in the people who have fallen ill, according to the CDC.
Does all of this sound way too familiar? Well, you’re right: There was an E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce in April 2018 (check out the original report below).
The CDC said they know that this strain is not genetically linked to the E. coli outbreak that occurred earlier this year. It actually bears the same DNA fingerprint as the strain seen in an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 in fall 2017 that was linked to leafy greens in the U.S. and romaine in Canada.
To date, 13 people have been hospitalized in the U.S., with their illnesses beginning between October 8 and October 31. One person has developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome, the CDC reports, but there have been no deaths. However, since it takes two to three weeks for illnesses to be reported, there may be more cases occurring.
The CDC advises anyone feeling ill to see their doctor immediately. They also recommend washing and sanitizing any fridge shelves or drawers where you recently stored romaine. Check out our original article below with more information on signs and symptoms of E. coli to watch out for, plus what to do if you come down with symptoms.
Original report: April 20, 2018
First, there was a salmonella-related recall of 200 million eggs earlier this week. And now, people are being instructed to steer clear of a popular salad green. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it’s investigating an outbreak of Escherichia coli (E. coli) that’s been linked to romaine lettuce, which can cause symptoms like bloody diarrhea.
Since March 13, the outbreak has caused 53 illnesses and 31 hospitalizations across 16 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Although investigators have traced the outbreak to chopped romaine from the Yuma, Arizona, growing region, they haven’t pinpointed a specific brand, grower, supplier, or distributor yet.
As of April 20 2018, the CDC expanded its warning to consumers to avoid all types of romaine from the Yuma, Arizona growing region, not just the chopped variety originally included.
I quit eating salad for good and I’ve never felt healthier
The INSIDER Summary:
- After dealing with chronic bloat and stomach problems, I decided to ditch salads.
- Raw, cruciferous vegetables are tough to digest because they’re fibrous.
- If you have an unhealthy gastrointestinal tract or food sensitivities, then you’re more likely to have a bad reaction to digesting raw vegetables.
- I feel much better and way less bloated now.
If there’s one food that screams “healthy,” it has to be salad. The humble salad is the bland but dependable nutritious lunch choice that will make you look like a responsible eater (unless you add croutons and creamy dressing — no judgment).
But this summer I learned that salad, unfortunately, just may be my body’s enemy.
I usually buy lunch every day and, up until a few months ago, my go-to choice was usually one of those build-your-own salad places, where I’d load up on kale, avocado, and other raw veggies, topped with an olive oil dressing.
But in the beginning of 2017, I began to notice a strange pattern of bloating.
It started when I was sitting at my desk at work and I realized that my pants did not fit. It felt like I had just finished a Thanksgiving meal: I was fatigued, felt extremely full, and had a full-on muffin top. The kicker? I had only eaten a healthy, protein-rich breakfast and a salad that day. Luckily, I was wearing a long shirt which allowed me to discretely unbutton my pants.
The next day, the same thing happened. This time, I was wearing a loose top and only felt comfortable after I unbuttoned and unzipped my pants.
Some days I would feel like myself, but most of the time it looked like my abdomen had ballooned to almost twice its normal size. Even though I rarely over-ate and worked out regularly, I was never happy with how I looked or felt.
My concern quickly turned into an unhealthy obsession.
Since I am naturally very thin, any weight gain on my frame is instantly noticeable, so I became paranoid. Even though it was the middle of winter, I spent one entire evening trying on last summer’s bikinis and scrutinizing my reflection the mirror. Over the span of just five months, I looked like a reverse weight loss before and after photo. I felt about five to 10 pounds heavier, even though the number on my scale was no different than usual.
I downloaded a food diary app and began chronicling everything that I ate — convinced that I had some form of food allergy. As a pasta-loving Italian, having a gluten intolerance would seriously be the end of my world. But after weeks of obsessively writing down everything I wrote, results were still inconclusive. I thought it might have something to do with my cycle, so I started researching both dietary and gynecological issues related to bloating online.
What made things worse was my job. I write about food for a living and love doing it. But these new issues caused my my passion for finding and reporting on everything delicious to become a source of endless frustration and plummeting self esteem.
Mostly my job entails writing about food that’s definitely not salad. Joanna Fantozzi
I felt uncomfortable wearing jeans and limited my wardrobe choices. With multiple friends who have suffered from eating disorders, I know how easily an obsession with self-image can become something much darker. Thankfully, I did not go down that path.
I decided to ditch salads for good.
I was pretty close to scheduling an appointment with a gastroenterologist when I happened to speak with a friend’s husband who told me that his wife had stopped eating salads because her body could not handle digesting raw vegetables. Since nothing else was working, I tried giving it a shot.
I had my last salad about six weeks ago. Since then, I try to bring lean proteins, brown rice, and cooked vegetables into work for lunch (or I at least buy the equivalent). I’ve found that by forcing myself to rely on home-cooked meals, I can control portion size and the cooked vegetables are noticeably much easier to digest than my usual fiber-rich salads.
Over the past two months, I’ve felt much better. My bloating issues have diminished substantially and I am no longer embarrassed to wear form-fitting clothing. I feel confident knowing that my appearance won’t drastically change (at least in my mind) over the course of the day.
Me holding my lunch of salmon, brown rice, and sweet potatoes that will probably last two days. Matthew Gordon
But is there any truth to the results of my experiment, or is it just pure coincidence?
I wasn’t sure if the “fix” I was experiencing was the real deal, so I reached out to a registered dietitian about my raw vegetable conundrum.
“Raw vegetables contain cellulose, a naturally occurring fiber which is good for your diet, but can be hard to break down,” Grace Derocha, a registered dietitian at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan told INSIDER. “What aids the breakdown of cellulose is cellulase,an enzyme. Your body produces cellulase naturally, but those with an unhealthy gut may not produce enough to properly break down the cellulose in raw vegetables. Based on dietary restrictions like food allergies, some people may not be able to consume enough of the foods that create a healthy gut to produce cellulase effectively, making it more difficult to break down the cellulose found in raw vegetables.”
In other words, some people with food allergies, sensitivities, or gut imbalances are prone to issues with digesting fibrous vegetables, which will lead to “bloating and discomfort.”
Derocha suggested eating allium vegetables like garlic, ginger, onions, leeks, apples, and kiwi, which are rich in pre- and pro-biotics, to help aid with digestive issues.
The important thing is eating what makes you feel good and best fuels your body.
I found a diet that works for me — eating smaller portions of lean proteins, cooked vegetables, and healthy grains, while avoiding raw vegetables and fruits — but that might not work for everyone. Maybe you’re the type who thrives on crunchy kale salads or you prefer to try a gluten-free keto diet. Perhaps you need to practice intuitive eating and quit beating yourself up over those extra calories consumed over the weekend.
Do I still have bloated days? Of course, especially when I haven’t been to the gym for a week or two. But I no longer feel like a prisoner on a roller coaster ride of body image that fluctuates daily. That alone is worth doing away with salads for good.
Trying to eat healthy but finding that your green-packed lunch is giving you a sour stomach? Here’s why.
You just ordered a salad for lunch — instead of the burger you wanted — and feel like you’re killing it at the clean-eating game. So why is your stomach in knots all of a sudden?
Here are a few reasons you might be dealing with some less than desirable reactions, like bloating and heartburn, after making this healthy meal choice.
Reason #1: Kale and other greens are high in fiber.
Research has identified 45 different flavonoids in kale, which are known to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-like effects. But kale, specifically raw kale, is also loaded with insoluble fiber. While that can help digestion for some individuals, others can be sensitive to high-fiber foods. When in doubt, order a salad that mixes kale with other greens so you don’t miss out on its hefty health benefits.
Reason #2: You’re using a vinaigrette dressing.
Vinegar — a common ingredient in most vinaigrette dressings — is acidic and can be a heartburn trigger for some people. If you go heavy on the dressing, you may feel the effects of acid reflux, even if you avoided more known heartburn triggers like tomatoes, citrus, or onions.
Reason #3: Your salad is actually a big meal.
The cold, hard truth is that just because you start a meal with lettuce doesn’t mean it’s always going to be considered “light.” If your salad is full of add-ons like chicken or steak, cheese, beans, croutons, a heavy dressing, and other toppings like tortilla chips, you’re now eating a pretty big meal, which can increase stomach pressure and add to acid reflux symptoms. This is doubly true if you’re using a full-fat, dairy-based dressing, as full-fat dairy products can trigger heartburn symptoms.
Keeping these tips in mind the next time you decide to order a salad for lunch should help this healthy choice treat your body right, but if heartburn symptoms still end up surprising you, make sure to have a bottle of TUMS handy. TUMS provides fast relief for your toughest heartburn, going to work in seconds to neutralize acid on contact1 and get you back to feeling great.
1When used as directed.
Why Do I Always Have Diarrhea After I Eat Salad? Are There Any Home Remedies?
We all know eating salads is beneficial for overall health. Traditionally salad is a mixture of raw fruits and vegetables such as cucumber, tomatoes, onion, cabbage, broccoli, leafy greens etc. Usually it is dashed with a pinch of salt, olive oil and lemon juice. Although consuming a portion of leafy greens is one of the best habits that you must get into, sometimes it may be disturbing to your health. Especially, if the ingredients used are not handled properly or handled in unhygienic way. This can leave you with discomforting stomach problem such as diarrhea and cramps.
Diarrhea of loose and frequent bowel movement is temporary and it can occur due to infection or some disease besides many other factors. Normally eating salad does not pose any risk, but in certain situations the raw food that you eat can make you sick. Let us know the reasons underlying it.
Causes of diarrhea after eating salads:
Eating greens, vegetables and fruits has many benefits, especially if eaten raw. One of the best ways to take advantage of these benefits is to eat salad which has all the mentioned ingredients. To add flavor, salads are often topped with various salad dressing materials.
So if everything is right, why do some people suffer from discomforting diarrhea and other gastric apathy after eating salad? Here are some of the important reasons that you must look upon.
- Unhygienic method of preparation: Most of the food borne disease occurs when you do not follow hygienic practice of preparing and preserving food. Same is the case with salad. The possibility of contamination increases because salad is eaten raw. If you do not wash the vegetables, fruits and greens properly, there is increased risk of salad being contaminated with bacteria. Sometimes water that is used to wash the vegetables or used to sprinkle over fruits and vegetables to keep them fresh may be contaminated too. Often the contamination with microorganism occurs during packaging and distribution of the vegetables and fruits. All these factors can lead to gastrointestinal illness, diarrhea being one of its symptoms. Hence you must always follow healthy eating habit.
- Food poisoning: Food poisoning is mainly caused by contamination of bacteria. Diarrhea is one of the main symptoms of food poisoning. Certain food borne pathogens namely salmonella aureus, salmonella spp, campylobacter jejuni, E.coli, norovirus, Vibrio and shigella are frequently present on raw vegetable and fruits. Contamination of these microorganisms is the main reason for causing diarrhea and other symptoms of food poisoning such as vomiting, stomach cramps etc.
- Medical condition: Often people have weak digestion due to gall bladder disease. Eating raw food including salad may be difficult to get digested. This may lead to diarrhea and gasses.
Home remedies and preventive methods to treat diarrhea after eating salad:
Preventing diarrhea and other gastrointestinal illnesses is possible in all probability if you take all precautionary measures during preparation and storage of salad. For example the food handler must wash his hands with soap and water. Vegetables and fruits must be thoroughly washed with safe running water. After washing they must be peeled. This will reduce the risk of microbial contamination. The utensils and chopping board as well as various other items that come in contact with the salad ingredient must be properly washed and cleaned. Unfinished salad must be stored in refrigerator. Eating salad and other street vended food must be avoided.
Dehydration is the most concerning risk associated with diarrhea. Treatment of diarrhea after eating raw salad is similar to any other infectious diarrhea.
- Drink enough fluids, mainly with salt and sugar added to it. You can add lemon juice also.
- Plain yogurt or butter milk is also valuable for treating diarrhea. Both contain healthy bacteria which help to balance the intestinal bacterial flora.
- Drink rice water or white rice with butter milk.
- Eat bread or toast
- Eat well cooked vegetables.
- Can eat peeled fruits or any fruit juice.
- In some severe cases patient may need anti bacterial medication.
15 of the Worst Fruits and Vegetables You Can Eat
Are you doing more harm than good with your food choices?
Fruits and vegetables have plenty of health benefits. And when it comes to produce, there’s no doubt a wide variety of goods are delivered more often than not. That said, we also know few things in life can be 100% perfect, 100% of the time. Unfortunately, fruits and veggies are no exception.
While upping your intake of fresh, whole foods is certainly important, there are a few you may want to steer clear of, or at least not overindulge in too often.
Let’s take a quick look at 15 of the worst fruits and vegetables you can eat, including a surprising fruit that could hinder your weight loss efforts (No. 8) and a summertime favorite to only eat in moderation (No. 12).
Don’t overindulge in pineapple. | iStock.com
- Why it’s bad: Contains 16.2 grams of sugar per cup
The relaxing sounds of Hawaiian music begin to lull in the back of your mind every time you take a bite of this sweet, succulent fruit. But all that sweetness can be chalked up to sugar content — 1 cup of solid chunks contain 16.2 grams of sugar.
Available year-round, pineapples can be tough to stay away from (pineapple pizza, anyone?). Thankfully, they’re only ripest during a few months a year. Phew. (After all, there’s a reason pineapple upside-down cake is a thing.)
Corn products can contain GMOs. | iStock.com
- Why it’s bad: Corn is often full of GMOs
With summertime just around the corner, it’s likely you’ll be seeing lots of corn on the cob with each and every BBQ you attend. But corn isn’t just a seasonal staple alone. We eat the stuff in the form of popcorn, processed syrup, salsas, and breakfast cereals. Because of this, corn is often riddled with tons of GMOs.
Slice reports there’s no way of knowing how the genes added to corn will affect us in the future. Furthermore, corn is often fed to cows to fatten them up before they’re slaughtered for meat, so just imagine the negative effects such a product could have on our bodies.
Cherries are rich in nutrients, but they also have a lot of sugar. | iStock.com
- Why it’s bad: Contains 17 grams of sugar per cup
Cherries might be the perfect accompaniment to your cocktail, but we recommend enjoying them in moderation.
While a bag of cherries definitely makes for a great midday snack, just keep in mind that their addicting nature exists for good reason. In just 1 cup of cherries with pits, you’re getting more than 17 grams of sugar.
Don’t be fooled by the pro-coconut claims you hear. | iStock.com
- Why it’s bad: Contains an overload of saturated fat, sugar, and calories
There sure has been a lot of hype surrounding all things coconut. But don’t be fooled by claims that this healthy alternative — whether in the form of oil, sugar, or water — is better for you.
According to a 2015 NY Daily News article, “The trendy superfood — which is about to make the jump into the Mainstream American Diet thanks to Starbucks, Walmart, and Costco — is loaded with heart-damaging saturated fat, sugar, and calories that hide behind its healthy, food co-op image.”
Tasty as it may be, there are some people who shouldn’t consume coconut at all. “I caution patients with high cholesterol or a history of heart disease,” Kate Patton, dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic’s Heart & Vascular Institute, told the publication. So, consider the state of your individual health before cracking a coconut.
Pomegranates have tons of nutritional value — and sugar. | iStock.com
- Why it’s bad: Contains 39 grams of sugar per fruit
Figuring out the best way to actually break into a pomegranate is hard enough, and once you’re in there, it’s likely you’ll want to fully enjoy the fruits of your labor (pun very much intended). But did you know a whole pomegranate has 39 grams of sugar?
That said, it’s often smarter to use them as a topping for your yogurt.
Mangoes are delicious, but don’t eat too much. | iStock.com
- Why it’s bad: Contains 23 grams of sugar per cup
A common ingredient in smoothies, sushi rolls, and guacamole (and pretty much anything else you’d want to eat), this juicy fruit sure is tough to stay away from. Mangoes are full of sweet, sweet goodness, so it’s no surprise 1 cup of sliced mango has 23 grams of sugar, making them the perfect addition to most tasty things in life.
Potatoes are heavy in the carb department. | iStock.com
- Why it’s bad: Contains 36 grams of carbs per potato
You guessed it — potatoes are probably the most cautioned of all veggies. While they’re an absolute necessity (in any form) on Thanksgiving, the starchy vegetable isn’t exactly the most revered when it comes to your choice of a healthy side.
The main deterrent is the 36 grams of carbs that are packed into a single potato. So, eat these starchy veggies in moderation.
Bananas are still a better alternative to most sweets. | iStock.com/anujaree
- Why it’s bad: Their starchy quality isn’t good for weight loss
Bananas are often a main staple in many folks’ kitchens. And although they’re certainly better than opting for pancakes in the morning, bananas are best in small doses.
As Lauren Slayton, author of The Little Book of Thin, told The Daily Meal, if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s better to go for fruits that aren’t so starchy.
9. Winter squash
Winter squash is heavy on carbs, so don’t go totally crazy. | iStock.com
- Why it’s bad: Contains 21 grams of carbs per cup
Winter squash, which includes butternut, acorn, and spaghetti, comes with its fair share of health benefits, but it doesn’t top the charts in the grand scheme of the vegetable world. Averaging around 21 grams of carbs per cup of winter squash, according to Verywell, the entire veggie packs a seriously carb-heavy punch.
Don’t go overboard when eating figs. | iStock.com
- Why it’s bad: Contains 16 grams of sugar per cup
Fig Newtons may have been a popular lunchbox snack years ago, but it’s not the way to go if you’re looking to cut back on sugar. According to AOL, “Fresh figs are filled with fiber and can help to lower blood pressure, but the fruit does contain a good amount of sugar too — 100 grams of raw figs (or roughly 1 cup) contains around 16 grams of sugar.”
Jicama is also high in carbs. | iStock.com
- Why it’s bad: Contains 10.6 grams of carbs per cup
A farmer’s market favorite, jicama is a pretty exciting, yet fairly unloved, root vegetable, The Kitchn says. But in the overall scheme of things, it’s also one that ranks high in the carbohydrate department: 1 cup of slices has 10.6 grams of carbs.
Its crunch is alluring, and its juicy consistency is similar to that of a savory apple. While it sure it tasty, it’s not the best veggie in the world, either.
Watermelon sure is a tasty summertime treat. | iStock.com/margouillatphotos
- Why it’s bad: Contains plenty of fructose
There’s nothing quite like a fresh slice of watermelon following a hard mountain bike ride or a half-day hike. But if you haven’t just done some level of physical activity, it’s best to limit your watermelon consumption.
According to Fat Loss Foodies, this high-sugar fruit has “plenty of wonderful qualities, but also very high in fructose, the natural sugar found in fruit.” So, try to limit it when possible.
13. Brussels sprouts
Brussels sprouts can leave you feeling bloated. | GwylanAnna/iStock/Getty Images
- Why it’s bad: Causes bloating and gas
OK, so we know what you’re thinking here. How could Brussels sprouts ever be bad? And we understand your reaction. But, let us explain.
According to Alissa Rumsey, registered dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Brussels sprouts are to be avoided, as least if you’re worried about bloating. As Rumsey told The Daily Meal, Brussels sprouts are one of the worst veggies for bloating and gas. And nobody wants that.
Eggplant is a great meat alternative, but there are better choices. | iStock.com
- Why it’s bad: They soak up large amounts of fat and salt
Is eggplant a healthy alternative to meat? Sure, but still, it makes the list. According to Maggie Moon, author of The Elimination Diet Workbook, mushrooms are a better option.
“The down side of this is that they really do soak up everything,” Moon told The Daily Meal. “They’re like sponges for fat and seasoning, so it’s easy to pile calories and sodium onto eggplant.”
Onions don’t offer a ton of nutritional value | iStock.com/Nedim_B
- Why it’s bad: Onions can cause digestive problems
With all their flavor, onions are an easy veggie to love. And it’s no surprise plenty of people consume more than enough onions in a given week. Consuming them on sandwiches, in pasta sauces, or the like, however, isn’t necessarily a good thing.
Much like everything else on this list, onions aren’t completely unhealthy. It’s just that they’re lacking in super food status. “Onions consist mostly of water, carbs and fiber,” Healthline says. “The main fibers in them, fructans, can feed the friendly bacteria in the gut, but they can also cause digestive problems in some people.”
And on that note, folks… eat your fruits and veggies! Just remember: All things in moderation.
9 Fruits and Vegetables That Aren’t Actually All That Healthy
In the plant foods world, everything is not created equal. The nutritional value of a pomegranate is far superior to that of celery. That’s just a fact. That doesn’t mean celery isn’t great—what else would we eat with our hot wings? It just means there’s a better use of your plant-based daily tallies. Here, nine fruits and vegetables that are fine (and better than nothing), but not at all the healthiest choices you could make.
If you’ve been on a diet in your life, someone has told you at some point, “You know, you burn more calories chewing celery than you get when you eat it.” But frankly, unless you have some seriously powerful jaws, it’s just not true. A celery stick has 10 calories—and not much else. Yes, it has some Vitamin C and K and antioxidants, but on the scale of healthfulness, this one doesn’t rank very high. Skip it, and reach for carrots if you’re craving something crunchy.
Most dried fruit is not much healthier than candy. The pieces are often dried, coated in sugar, and treated with chemicals to preserve color and freshness. If you’re drying the fruit yourself, you’ve got a better product. Otherwise, this is probably one produce category worth skipping. Per ounce, dried fruit packs in more calories and less water content than the fresh variety.
However, dried fruit has a few things going for it. Because it’s a dehydrated, one serving of dried fruit does have a higher concentration of some vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C, however, is not one of them. Research shows drying fruit dramatically reduces the amount of this immune-boosting nutrient.
If you gleefully scoop up an extra serving of corn at each meal, put down the spoon. Yes, corn is a vegetable, but it’s a better source of sugar than actual vitamins. Corn is high in simple sugar carbohydrates and has virtually no indigestible fiber (the kind that keeps you regular and lowers blood cholesterol). Instead, the carbs and fiber in corn are the highly digestible kind that converts to sugar and spikes blood sugar levels very quickly.
Plus, corn is quite calorie dense compared to some other vegetables. One cup has 180 calories. Compare that to the same amount of broccoli, which has just over 30 calories. Corn is also not a whole grain, according to the Whole Grains Council. Only dried corn kernels like popcorn, which have intact elements of the whole grain, get this healthy distinction.
Radishes are a must-have topping for tacos (with cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime, please). They’re crispy, sharp, and slightly astringent, and they’re quite beautiful, too. But, besides a good bit of vitamin C, radishes don’t bring much to the table. Plus, some people will experience tummy troubles, including excess gas, after eating radishes.
The problem with eggplant isn’t the fruit’s nutritional content—yes, it’s a fruit; don’t argue.
The dark purple skin is rich in antioxidants, and it has a decent amount of fiber (about 3g per cup). But the health hazard is what’s done to eggplants. Indeed, eggplants are practically sponges. They soak up the fat, calories, and sodium of the cooking process, so popular methods like eggplant lasagna turn eggplant from a moderately healthful plant into a calorie-dense nutritional bomb.
Iceberg lettuce is better than no lettuce if it’s getting you to eat more plant-rich salads, but if you can swap your leaves out, do. Iceberg is virtually empty. It has almost no nutritional value, less than one gram of fiber per cup, and only 10 calories. Instead, opt for a leafy green that can serve up a bit more nutritional value per leaf. Kale, for example, contains a good dose of vitamin A and C, and it has bone-building calcium. Baby kale is often more delicate and less fibrous, which makes it ideal for salads.
WATCH: Kale 101
You knew this one was coming, right? Like eggplants, potatoes themselves aren’t terrible by themselves. They’re calorie dense—one cup has about 115 calories—but they do contain some fiber in the skin and potassium and vitamin C. However, most cooking methods virtually destroy all of these nutrients. When potatoes are fried and covered in salt, or boiled and mashed to buttery mush, their healthy aspects generally disappear. What’s left is a high-calorie food that spikes your blood sugar. You can get the same mashed experience with cauliflower, even butternut squash. Both of those foods deliver fewer calories and more nutrients per serving than potatoes.
Fruit juice (the 100 percent fruit juice kind) may seem like a healthy alternative to, say, soda or artificial juices, but it’s really just a cupful of sugar. Fruit juice is stripped of the fruits’ fiber and many of the healthful vitamins and minerals. What’s left is the sugary juice which, while delicious, is just a vehicle for a high-sugar sip. It’s smarter, healthier, and more filling to eat the fruit itself.
Don’t let the photos of root vegetables on the bag trip you up. Veggie chips are virtually identical to potato chips. One ounce of a popular vegetable chip has 150 calories; classic potato chips have 160 calories. Baking and frying the thinly-sliced vegetables removes almost all of their nutrients, leaving them soaked in oil and calories. If you like them for their vegetal flavor, enjoy them whole-heartedly. Just don’t fool yourself—they aren’t “healthy.”