The Energy Content of Vegetables

Vegetables have been shown to possess a number of health effects. One of the main health effects that relates to regular consumption of vegetables is weight loss. The weight loss effects of vegetables are related to the high water content and low energy content they possess. In addition, the energy present is usually in the form of starch or protein, and this means that rapid rises in blood glucose are not present after eating vegetables, even in large amounts. However, one factor that is often not considered regarding the energy content of vegetables is the use of fibre as an energy source. Humans do not possess the necessary enzymes to digest many carbohydrates in plants and as such they are referred to as non-digestible polysaccharides or dietary fibre. However, the human colonic microflora can digest this fibre and convert it to usable energy in the form of short chain fatty acids. Therefore the label claims for the total energy in vegetables is often underestimated, and the true value is higher than is stated. 

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About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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