We all know that vegetables are good for our short AND long-term health, but many times choosing the healthier option over junk food can be a challenge. This is where tomatoes come in to play! Learn more about tomato consumption in the US and how Americans can eat more of this produce item to benefit health.
As we all know, the American diet can use a little help. It’s challenging to genuinely enjoy eating healthy, especially when we are constantly surrounded by junk foods that are both convenient and affordable. However, the constant consumption of unhealthy, processed foods simply because they are the “easier” option can greatly impair your health. Now you’re stuck in a limbo between wanting to eat healthy and not being the biggest fan of vegetables, so what’s one thing should you do to improve your health? Eat canned tomatoes!
Did you know that tomatoes comprise 19% of ALL vegetable consumption? There are very few vegetables that Americans consider to be their favorite, but studies have shown that tomatoes are actually ranked at the top of everyone’s list (only second to potatoes). This is great news for us because not only are tomatoes nutrient-rich, but they are absolutely delicious in various dishes, such as pastas, sandwiches, lasagnas, salads, stews, and more! A recent study that provided results from “What We Eat in America” (a diet survey) found that most tomatoes were consumed as tomato products—canned, diced, paste, and soup. These canned goods are widely available and extremely affordable, which should be an incentive for purchasing them on your next grocery trip. Understanding that eating healthy foods helps to boost overall health, it’s important for healthcare providers, specifically registered dietitians and nutrition coaches, to stray away from forcing consumers to eat more vegetables, and instead they must educate consumers on how to incorporate more of their favorite vegetables into their diet so that they genuinely enjoy the foods they eat.
So next time you’re thinking about what vegetable to add to your dish, remind yourself about the flavorful, nutrient-packed red tomato and grab a can or two on your next grocery run. Once you gather your tomato products you can whip up a variety of tomato-based recipes. To ensure that you never get bored with incorporating tomatoes into your dishes, you can always switch up the vegetables, protein, seasonings, and grains in your meals so that you are consuming a wide range of dishes. These practical, simple strategies to eat more tomatoes have been shown to help individuals eat their vegetables and obtain the required nutrients they need to live a healthy lifestyle!
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