By Vanessa Evens a Recent ASU Nutrition Student
One simple easy-to-follow rule that will make each and every one of us healthier sounds too good to be true, right? I promise it isn’t. This one simple rule is dietitian approved and its benefits will bleed into every aspect of your life. Are you ready for it?
It’s called the 50% rule and it really is simple. The 50% rule means that every time you fill your plate, you fill it up 50% full of vegetables. That’s it. No tricks, no restrictions. The goal is simple: eat more vegetables. There’s no calorie counting or math equations with macronutrients, just looking at your plate and seeing that it is half full of veggies. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about if you are getting all the vitamins and nutrients that you need because half of your plate is veggies! They are chock full of all the good stuff that we need every day, that most of us don’t get.
What are the benefits of loading your plates with veggies? According to RD Shawn Wells “Veggies are full of fiber, antioxidants, and beneficial phytonutrients like polyphenols… A diet rich in vegetables can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease, reduce risk of some types of cancer, improve eye health, reduce digestive problems, and have a positive effect upon blood sugar and appetite.” These benefits can make all aspects of your life better. You will have better digestion, more energy, and better blood flow, not to mention the positive effect on your skin, nails, and hair.
It’s a simple rule, but it may be easier said than done. It has been recommended that you should eat around 20 different vegetables a week. That can sound daunting but it doesn’t have to be! Have fun with it. Visit your local farmers market and grocery store and see what is in season, grab a little of everything and experiment! You might find a new vegetable that you love. You can make a big salad, or a big pan of roasted vegetables, or a stir-fry.
Plus, have you ever taken the time to talk to the produce manager of your local grocery store? If they’re around, they can often share worthwhile advice.
I know what you’re thinking…what about when you go out to eat? Well Mia Rigden, a holistic nutrition coach suggests that you skip the entrée portion of the menu and make a meal of veggie sides. She also reminds us that herbs count, as well as veggie, made sauces, like homemade tomato sauce, or pesto. Frozen vegetables are a great option as well if you are short on time. Making this change in your life doesn’t have to be complicated you just have to do it. Your body will thank you, I promise!
Laurence, E., & Laurence, E. (2019, April 08). The “50 percent” rule is the easiest way to make every meal healthier. Retrieved from https://www.wellandgood.com/good-food/how-to-eat-more-vegetables-50-percent-rule/
McPhillips, K., & McPhillips, K. (2018, December 20). The 20 veggie challenge makes “eating the rainbow” look like child’s play. Retrieved from https://www.wellandgood.com/good-food/how-eat-more-vegetables/