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Healthy Living: Kickstart a healthy diet with fresh summer vegetables

"After a year of poor habits, it's time to refocus on getting better nutrition."

Posted: Jul 14, 2021 12:19 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- With colorful and nutritious fruits and vegetables lining the produce aisles and farmers market stands this summer, medical experts say it's a great time to get on track with a healthy diet.

According to Oregon Medical Group pediatrician Dr. Eric Colgrove, your diet can evolve with the changing seasons as the offerings at the grocery store open up new options.

"After a year of poor habits, it's time to refocus on getting better nutrition," he said. "I think that's easy right now because there's so much fresh food in the grocery store."

According to Colgrove, eating healthy items can lead to a lower risk for health problems like heart disease, diabetes and obesity.

Using the abundance of in-season produce by eating whole grains, starches like potatoes and dark green vegetables like spinach kale and broccoli is a great start. Whole grains and vegetables can help increase your fiber intake which can help you feel fuller longer.

Fruits can also indulge your sweet tooth without consuming too much sugar. 

"If you eat a nice ripe mango or pineapple or some of these incredible fruits, I could never dream of making a dessert as good as that," said Dr. Colgrove.

Take the opportunity to clean junk food out of your pantry. Calorie-dense foods can sometimes trigger our natural instinct to overconsume.

"That same mechanism that when you brain lights up when you have dense calories, is killing us. We know those are good tasting and our brains really like them, but it's time to put them away and not really have them in our house."

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