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Words of Wisdom

The 1st Middle East Vegetarian (MEVEG) Congress, Part 2 of a Multi-part Series, Dec. 6, 2010

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“I’m going to talk about the benefits of vegetables and fruits in our daily requirements. There are so many benefits, and I cannot list them all in a very short time. Each veg or fruit has its own effect on our body. But, in general, we can see that even they’ll reduce the risk of heart diseases, type 2 diabetes, obesity. And so many people, even the people who have hormone disturbance due to the phytochemicals which they consume.”

“We always try to take them in compensation of high energy density. Due to what? Because they have fiber. Those vegetables are lower in calories, they have high fiber that can substitute the fruits and vegetables with higher density to help us to control our weight, to make our type 2 diabetes controlled better due to the fiber, the insulin resistance and the insulin works more.”

“I said a little bit of knowledge, a good attitude. When we talk about a good attitude, we can have all the vegetables and our fruits. In the UAE, the vegetables are endless, and all year we have them. Whether veg or fruit. So we have a country which is rich in vegetables that we can have variety. And also, we have so many websites nowadays. We have so many cookbooks available; bookshops all year where you can get them even at a very good price.”

“Now, when I talked about low energy density, I said we have to compensate by using vegetables because they are low energy density. Fat always increases the energy density of our food. When we have vegetables and fruits, they have water, and they have fiber. And both of them increase the volume and reduce the energy, so it's a very good compensation for people who want to control their type 2 diabetes, for people who want to control their weight. And it is very important to include them in our daily content.”

“Now, what are those studies telling us? That if we increase or grow our vegetable intake, we have a very good impact in weight reduction, in type 2 diabetes, in cardiovascular diseases, and in maintaining our health. So, bottom line, what we should do: We should increase our vegetables. It's tasty. It’s easy to access. It’s not costly. And we have to remember the goal of eating more often and with more varieties which we are having.”
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