Mollie Katzen
Walter Willett, MD, MPH, DrPh

From Eat, Drink, and Weigh Less, Authors Mollie Katzen and Walter Willett, M.D.

All fruits and vegetables are good for you but no one of either contain everything thing you need for good health. It’s important to eat a mix from each family every week. Prepare more vegetables than you need at the time and keep in mind that left over vegetables, whether raw or cooked, are excellent additions to salad greens to make a meal for the upcoming days. Peas, beans or a small portion of non-vegetable protein of choice can be added to the salad to round it out. Many vegetables freeze well after being cooked, such as sweet potatoes, greens, cabbage, cauliflower, squashes, peas and beans. They are easily heated or used in other dishes.

Family: Crucifer

What’s in it: Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, kale kohlrabi, mustard greens, radishes, rutabaga, turnips, watercress

Why they are good: Excellent sources of phytochemicals that may protect you against many cancers; folate, calcium, iron, Vitamin K.

Family: Umbel

What’s in it: Carrots, celery root, parsley, parsnips

Why they are good: Carrots are excellent for beta-carotene, which the body makes into Vitamin A. Beta-carotene may prevent some cancers, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Family: Melon/squash

What’s in it: Cucumbers, summer & winter squashes (zucchini, acorn, butternut, etc), muskmelons (cantaloupe, honeydew)

Why they are good: Orange and yellow members are rich in beta-carotene.

Family: Legume

What’s in it: Alfalfa sprouts, beans, peas, soybeans, peanuts

Why they are good: Rich in fiber, folate, protease inhibitors that may protect against heart disease and cancer, protein, B vitamins.

Family: Lily

What’s in it: Asparagus, chives, garlic, leeks, onions, shallots

Why they are good: Sulfur compounds that protect against cancer.

Family: Citrus

What’s in it: Grapefruit, lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines

Why they are good: High in Vitamin C, limonene and coumarin, which have shown to have anticancer properties in lab animals

Family: Solanum

What’s in it: Eggplant, peppers, potatoes (sweet), tomatoes

Why they are good: Tomatoes are high in lycopene which has been shown to play a key part in preventing prostate and other cancers, along with high doses of Vitamin C, beta-carotene

Note on potatoes:

The authors have pulled white potatoes from the vegetable group above and include them in the starch category. When thinking of potatoes, think sweet potatoes which have a higher beta-carotene level than carrots, they also are high in Vitamins A, C, and E, folate, iron, copper, calcium and fiber. Sweet potatoes do not cause a spike in insulin like white potatoes and are a good choice for people with diabetes.

The A List

The vegetables in this list can be eaten unlimited raw, cooked, plain, sensibly sauced (Balsamic Glaze) or dipped into something good (Buttermilk Ranch Dressing):

Broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, asparagus, all dark green leaves, green beans, zucchini and all summer and winter squashes, bell peppers, carrots, celery, cucumbers, edible pod peas, salad greens, bok choy, Brussels sprouts, radishes, mushrooms, tomatoes, artichokes, eggplant, jicama, beets

The B List

These vegetables are higher in starch and calories and should be limited to 1-2 servings (1/2 cup) per day.

Sweet potatoes, pumpkin, turnips, rutabagas, water chestnuts, parsnips

Balsamic Glaze

Great on roasted vegetables, grains, protein of choice, fruit, pancakes, you decide.

1 cup balsamic vinegar

Place vinegar in a non-aluminum, shallow saucepan and heat to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until vinegar is reduced in volume by 2/3. Transfer to a covered container and store at room temperature indefinitely. Yields 1/3 cup. Calories 31 per each 1 tbsp serving.

Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

½ cup low-fat buttermilk

2-3 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp cider vinegar

½ tsp onion powder

¼ tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp salt (or to taste)

Freshly ground black pepper

Measure all ingredients except black pepper into a jar with a tight fitting lid. Whisk until all uniform. Taste to adjust salt and grind in pepper. Cover tightly and store in refrigerator. Will keep for a week or more. Stir or shake well before serving. Yields ½ cup. Calories 25 per each 1 tbsp serving.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. shyne says:

    sharing a wonderful knowledge about this things are really much appreciated 🙂 by the way i’ve seen a lot of recipes in gourmandia sites and they offer a lot cooking video recipes

    1. Thank you for following our blog and for the tip on gourmandia.

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