Could Hiding Your Veggies Help You Eat More of Them?

If you’re like many Americans, getting enough fruits and vegetables in every day may seem challenging enough that you forgo getting any in at all!

If you’re like many Americans, getting enough fruits and vegetables in every day may seem challenging enough that you forgo getting any in at all!

If this describes you, then you may benefit from “hiding” your veggies in some of your favorite dishes. A new study out of Pennsylvania State University found that adding puréed vegetables to entrees reduced the number of calories in meals without sacrificing texture or taste.


Researchers added puréed carrots, cauliflower or squash into the meals of unsuspecting individuals. Individuals were then able to consume 300 less calories per meal while getting in the vegetables and extra fiber to boot!  All the while, the participants had no idea that their “typical” dish was altered in any way. 

How can you do this at home? Add puréed veggies to your pasta sauces, casseroles, turkey meat loafs or even mashed potatoes. Add  puréed fruits to muffin mix, pudding or even sugar-free gelatin. Sometimes, it just takes some creativity to get the nutrients you need! See how creative you can be!

Get started with this recipe: Broccoli Bean and Leek Soup

What's Really Causing Your Obesity: Nature or Nurture?

It's more complex than too many calories and not enough physical activity.

The American Medical Association officially recognized obesity as a disease in 2013. But in the past 13 years, there's not been much of a shift in the understanding of what causes obesity — not in the general public, in people who contend with the condition or in the practice of medicine. Most people still think of obesity as a character flaw caused by too many calories and not enough physical activity. But it's much more complex than that.

A study analyzing National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data found that even though US adults' BMI increased between 1988 and 2006, the amount of calories adults consumed and the energy they expended were unchanged. It also appears that the quality of calories consumed (low versus high glycemic index) is as important a consideration as the total quantity. And genetics only explains about 2.7% variation in people's weight, according to a study in Nature. That all adds up to this: The two most common explanations for obesity — calories in, calories out and family history — cannot, by themselves, explain the current epidemic.

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