You must have heard of the 5 a day rule: the advice that we must eat 5 portions of fruit or vegetables each day to keep ourselves healthy. If you are on a weight loss diet you may be paying great attention to what you are eating and consuming a lot of what you think are ‘healthy‘ foods. However, did you know that you can overdo it? Yes, it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Here are 5 healthy foods that you can actually eat too much of.
Reasons for including 5 fruit and vegetables a day in your diet
- Fruit and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals, including folate, vitamin C and potassium.
- They are an excellent source of dietary fibre, which helps maintain a healthy gut and prevent constipation and other digestion problems. A diet high in fibre can also reduce your risk of cancers such as bowel cancer.
- They can help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Fruit and vegetables contribute to a healthy and balanced diet for overall health.
- Fruit and vegetables taste delicious and there’s so much variety to choose from.
Fruit and vegetables are also usually low in fat and calories. That’s why eating them can help with your weight loss diet.
To get the most benefit out of your 5 a day, your five portions should include a variety of fruit and vegetables. This is because different fruits and vegetables contain different combinations of fibre, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients. Try to combine different colours and textures. Almost all fruit and vegetables can count towards your 5 a day. They can be fresh, frozen, canned, dried or pure juices. However, potatoes (including crisps and chips) don’t count because they are mainly starch.
5 foods you can eat too much of
You probably already steer away from sugary cereal, as it can rot your teeth and make you pile on the pounds. However, eating whole grain cereal in a big bowl too often may mean excess calorie consumption. This is a big problem if it is a dense cereal like granola. In fact, it is very easy to consume hundreds of calories in one session without realising it. The recommended portions are 1/4 cup of granola, 1 cup of cereal flakes, and 2 cups of puffed rice per day.
2. Dried fruits and nuts
Everyone knows that dried fruits and nuts are a very healthy food. They contain healthy fats and also help you feel satisfied so you don’t crave sugar. However, it is very easy to eat dried fruits and nuts in excess. The recommended dosage of dried fruits and nuts is 1 oz a day. This means a handful (the size of a golf ball).
3. Olive oil
A green salad with olive oil dressing is the classic healthy lunch. Green salads are very nutritious and olive oil contains mono-unsaturated fats, which are a healthy fat that is great for your heart. But you have to remember that olive oil contains calories, at least 100 calories per tablespoon. Therefore, although its consumption is important, you should not consume it in excess. The suggested dosage of olive oil is 1 to 2 tablespoons, an amount that would fill a shot glass.
Hummus or garbanzo puree is a very healthy snack. Hummus contains proteins and healthy fats and fresh vegetables dipped in hummus make a great snack. However, it is very easy to overeat it, especially if you buy big tubs of hummus. The suggested consumption of this food is approximately 2 tablespoons of hummus as a snack. Buy a small pot!
5. Freshly squeezed orange juice
Juice is healthy alternative to carbonated drinks, because it contains fruit and nutrients. However, there is a problem with making all of your 5 a day a juice. A fruit juice does not contain any fibre whereas the whole fruit does. It’s best to exchange a glass of juice for a whole orange. As a result, you will consume more fibre and the act of chewing your food will help you consume less calories. While freshly squeezed orange juice can be healthy, the size of the suggested serving is 4-6 oz.