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How to Squash those Holiday Cravings

Author: Oksana Aron, MD Source: Weight Loss NYC Nov 25, 2019

Butternut Squash Healthy meals are easy

eat healthy vegetables

Filling up on veggies is a top rule for anyone wanting to eat healthier, yet that doesn't have to sound boring. Check your favorite produce store for winter squashes, including the amusing shaped butternut squash. Like its cousin the sweet potato, it's often overlooked as a starch, yet the orange interior reflects it is rich in beta carotene, which converts to vitamin A in your body.

One cup of Butternut Squash (cubed and cooked) yields 127% of the US RDA for Vitamin A, with 80 calories, 4g sugar, 21g of carbs. Far more favorable than mashed potatoes with (or without) gravy! Factor in the 7g of fiber and you're on your way to RDA daily mark of 25-30g fiber per day.

Beta carotene, as one of the team members of antioxidants, on its own offers many nutritional benefits. Butternut Squash also has ample potassium (more than the benchmark banana) plus 30% of your daily RDA of Calcium. Other minerals at hand include Iron and Niacin, along with Vitamin E.

Winter Wondering

Other winter squashes you can try - (measuring nutrients to the one cubed cooked cup)

  • Acorn Squash has more fiber and potassium, though less vitamin A than Butternut. 9 grams fiber per cubed cooked cup, potassium (896 mg).
  • Pumpkin Squash has both alpha and beta carotene. Alpha carotene also converts vitamin A in the body; Pumpkin Squash has twice as much of alpha than Butternut.
  • Spaghetti Squash is yellow and can even be used as an alternative to spaghetti. Lower in calories and carbohydrates than the other squashes mentioned here, but also lower in fiber. As a pasta substitute though, you'll consumer only 42 healhty veggie calories not pasta carb 200 calories.
Feeling Preppy

Summing it up with preparation, all of these can simply be sliced and roasted, with familiar spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, or clove or allspice. For easier prep you can often buy these pre-cut in stores, though caution on canned variants due to added sugars. You can even puree squashes to make satisfying soups and sauces too. Some folks even suggest smoothies, accompaniments such as apple, nut butter and soy or almond milk.

Hungry for More

Learn more healthy dieting and meal structures from Dr Oksana Aron at WeightLossNYC.com

Sources: Consumer Reports, Pexels

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