How and When to Eat Your Veggies

Choose a good lineup of vegetables, then follow these five tips:

1. Consume vegetables little by little throughout the day. If you save up your carb allowance for a giant veggie splurge, it might produce a surge in your blood sugar.

2. When you eat higher-carb vegetables, such as yams or winter squash, do so along with proteins and fats. They will slow the passage of carbs through your digestive system and minimize their impact on your blood sugar.

3. Look for recipes in which a variety of vegetables are included with meat, fish or fowl as part of a complete entr6e, such as stews and dishes based on Asian cuisine.

4. Don't drink your vegetables. Juicing removes the fiber, which has the double merit of helping you feel full and maintaining a healthy digestive system. Juices also concentrate the sugars from vegetables, increasing the risk that they'll spike your blood sugar.

5. Cook carefully. Vegetables are usually most nutritious when crisp-not overcooked. An exception to this recommendation and to #4, above, is the tomato; its cancer-fighting chemical lycopene becomes more bioavailable when heat breaks down the tomato's cell walls or even when it is served as juice.

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