Growing up, we all heard the phrase, “Eat your vegetables.” No one ever specified which ones, though. That’s right, we should have been considering which vegetables we should be eating, rather than just consuming anything that gave off the allure of being healthy. Now, we’re not about to tell you to stop eating any vegetables altogether. As a food category, all vegetables have something to offer, and if you enjoy them, they should absolutely be part of your diet. However, we will let you know, of all of the vegetables, which ones are the worst for you. Read on to learn why these vegetables fall short.
The “worst” vegetables for you:
1. Canned vegetables
First of all, we will call out the broad category that is canned vegetables. For most people, these are not the favorite, anyway. Who else has been scarred by a bad can of green beans at Thanksgiving dinner? While they aren’t a crowd favorite, they are convenient, which makes them more present in people’s diets. The convenience of them is part of the reason they’re not the best vegetables for you when packaged this way. For vegetables to be shelf-stable, they have to be able to be preserved for quite a bit of time, sometimes even years. So, in the case of vegetables, many have sodium added (1). This hurts the nutritional value of vegetables, so that’s why they made our “worst” list. Consume them when you need to, but opt for fresh or frozen when possible.
We know, you probably saw this one coming. This starchy vegetable, which is the base for countless side dishes and entrees, isn’t always good for you. Now, notice that we said they aren’t always good for you, which implies there are times they can be. Potatoes made the “worst” list because they are often prepared in ways that lack nutritional value, such as fast-food french fries. To make potatoes in the healthiest way possible, choose to bake or roast them, or even opt for the popular method of air frying. You can even make your own fries this way (2).
Yep, another starchy vegetable made the list. Corn makes the list because it is high in sugar, as well as calories. Given the sugar, your blood sugar levels will rise quickly when having a large portion of corn (3). So, for someone that is watching their weight, corn might be a bad addition to a meal. It’s hard to get full off of corn, and it’s easy to reach for extra servings when it seems like such a small amount.
4. Iceberg lettuce
No, we’re not trying to say that you shouldn’t eat salads. However, there are far more nutrient-dense bases for salad than iceberg lettuce. A different leafy green, like kale or spinach, is a great way to get extra vitamins and minerals into your diet (4).
5. Veggie straws
Yes, we’re talking about the colorful snack you find in the chip aisle. While the product may try to convince you that you’re making a better choice than any other snack in the aisle, it’s simply not true. Veggie straws, when compared to other potato chips, have less protein and fiber. So, stick to veggies when you’re looking for veggies, but if you want a bag of chips, just have them (5).