Did you know that only 1 in 10 adults eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables? 1. People feel like it is easier to add fruits to their diet because of their sweet flavorful taste. On the other hand, people struggle to eat vegetables due to the taste of certain vegetables. Since people do not like the taste of vegetables they like to add some kind of dressing or condiment or even cheese to hide the taste of it and make it more enjoyable. It seems like everyone has an opinion on whether you should add or not add dressing vegetables. Does it take its nutrients away from it? Is it causing more harm than good? Let’s dive in!
Why Eat Vegetables?
As we all know vegetables are very important since they have many vitamins such as folate, vitamin A, vitamin C, and many others. Vegetables are also a great source of fiber. Fibrous foods can help us with our bowel movements, can help decrease cholesterol levels, help control blood sugar levels in the blood, and may provide anti-inflammatory benefits among many others.2 For adults it is recommended to eat about 2-3 cups of vegetables a day. You can eat your vegetables raw, baked, sauteed, air fried, or even drink them in juice or a smoothie.
You may get the most nutrition if you eat your vegetables in their raw form. With some, steaming or sauteeing can bring out more of their nutrients and make them easier for our bodies to absorb.
The Truth about Dressing
Adding dressing, condiments, or cheese will not take away the nutrients from vegetables. Adding those extra ingredients to your vegetables will not make them have less fiber or fewer vitamins. By adding cheese to your vegetables you’ll actually be adding some protein into it, which will help make them more satisfying.
If you find yourself having trouble with eating vegetables because you do not like the taste of them, adding a different flavor to your vegetable can help you increase your intake and get you closer to your goal of 2-3 cups a day. Adding those extra flavors is not going to cause harm to your body. If adding ranch dressing is the only way you can add those vegetables to your diet, I encourage you to add the ranch! Some veggies are better than no veggies!
If weight loss is something you are trying to do, looking for dressings that are low in calories or lower in fat are your best options. Some dressings can be high in sodium which as we know, a high sodium/salt diet can cause higher blood pressure which isn’t great for your heart. There are many sugar-free dressings available on the market. Make sure to do a little comparison between your options and try to choose the one with the least amount of sodium.
You can try making your own dressing at home to have better control over what goes into it. One of my favorite homemade dressings is a blend of cottage cheese with garlic powder, onion powder, and jalapenos. This makes up a deliciously spicy high-protein dressing!
When to Avoid Dressing
There are three main reasons why you should avoid adding dressing or anything else to your vegetables:
- You do not like that dressing
- You are allergic/sensitive to any of the ingredients
- It is expired
There should not be anything stopping you from making your food more enjoyable unless you are allergic or if some food has gone bad. A good relationship with food starts with actually eating foods that taste good to you!
1.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2021, February 16). Only 1 in 10 adults get enough fruits or vegetables. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved February 27, 2023, from https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/division-information/media-tools/adults-fruits-vegetables.html
- Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2022, November 4). How to add more fiber to your diet. Mayo Clinic. Retrieved February 27, 2023, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/fiber/art-20043983