Guru Kate: Dietary Dilemmas

How many fruits and vegetables do I actually have to eat every day? Can I get away with eating all of them on one day of the week, and eating Lucky Charms the other six days?

 

As easy as “banking” your produce sounds, it doesn’t really make any sense from the benefit point-of-view. The whole reason you eat fruits and vegetables is for major vitamins, minerals and fiber.

If you were to eat salad and drink fruit smoothies all day long for one day of the week, you would feel full and probably bloated. Think of it this way: to fulfill the USDA’s recommended intake of two and a half cups of vegetables, and two cups of fruit per day, you would have to eat 17.5 cups of vegetables and 14 cups of fruits. In one day.

Also, I hate to break it to you, but most vitamins are water soluble. That means that whatever your body doesn’t need right when you eat it gets peed right back out. The same goes for minerals.

As for the vitamins that are fat soluble, you don’t find very high concentrations of those in vegetables or fruits.

In addition, the fiber intake could really ruin your day. All of that fiber in one shot? You’ll be worse than Niagara Falls one day of the week, and more stopped up than Texas in a drought for the next six. I don’t call that moderation.

- Advertisement -

Besides, you are probably already eating more fruits and vegetables than you thought. Consider spaghetti with meat or marinara sauce. That right there is approximately half of a cup of fruit (yes, tomato IS a fruit). If you add a side salad – BAM – already up to a full cup of vegetables. Did you choose apple juice instead of pop? Well then say hello to a serving of fruit.

One last thing – don’t stress out because you didn’t hit your goal of vegetables or fruits for the day, or if you went over. Listen to how your body feels and give it the love and care it deserves.

 

Subway put really green tomatoes on my ham sandwich. They’re kind of crunchy…I feel weird chewing them. Why do these tomatoes look and feel this way, and am I going to die?

 

Good question. I looked into it, and it turns out that there are gourmet tomatoes that are green. However, I really doubt that cheapo Subway specially ordered green heirloom tomatoes to make your sandwich more enjoyable.

More likely is Subway received a shipment of unripe tomatoes that did not receive the “ethylene glycol” treatment. That chemical speed-ripens the fruit, but will result in a less-nutritive tomato with poor flavor and poor texture. I am willing to bet money that Subway orders these tomatoes because it’s cheaper to harvest the tomatoes all at the same time, regardless if they are all ripe or not.

But, in getting to Alaska, I’m also willing to bet money that the tomato distributors mess up once in awhile and forget to put in the ripening chemical/don’t add enough of the chemical/the tomatoes are mutants.

What puzzles me most is: they are visually displeasing. Why would Subway even put the ugly ones out? Unless they’re breaded and fried, green tomatoes are just bad news. I’ve been in line with some snooty old ladies before that get really upset and have the nice sandwich makers re-do the entire thing. I call them “tomato snobs.”