Fruits and vegetables are the cornerstone of the Nutrisystem diet; you cannot do the diet without eating them. Consuming fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower incidence of diabetes, which is important for obese dieters who are at risk for diabetes. Most Nutrisystem diet plans include seven servings of fruits and vegetables daily, not counting any vegetables that are included with the prepackaged meals that you eat during the course of the day.
Most of the Nutrisystem plans, such as the women's Nutrisystem Basic and the men's Nutrisystem Basic, allow you to have one fruit with breakfast, one fruit with a snack and your choice of one fruit or vegetable with dinner. Nutrisystem works with the glycemic index, a ranking system that measure how certain foods impact blood glucose levels, and separates "good" carbohydrates that are slowly digested from "bad" carbohydrates. Nutrisystem allows most fruits, except those that have a high glycemic impact, such as watermelon or lychee fruits.
Nutrisystem Basic requires that both men and women consume at least four servings of vegetables: two servings with lunch, two with dinner, and your choice of an additional vegetable or fruit with dinner. Many vegetables are considered unlimited, meaning that you can eat as many of them as you would like and only count them as one serving of vegetables on your meal plan. Examples of unlimited vegetables include most varieties of tomatoes, asparagus and broccoli. Other vegetables, such as carrots, squash and turnips must be eaten in specific quantities as a vegetable serving.
Vegetables and Fruits Included in Meals
Many of the Nutrisystem prepackaged foods include vegetables that do not count as a separate, added fruit or vegetable. For example, the roast turkey meal includes a vegetable medley, and the glazed chicken tenders include green beans. As a result, it is entirely possible that you could eat 10 servings of fruits and vegetables in a day if each meal that you ate included a vegetable. Few of the prepackaged meals include additional fruits.
What to Do if You Don't Like Fruits or Vegetables
If you do not like fruits and vegetables Nutrisystem is probably not the diet for you. However, you can substitute 100 percent fruit or vegetable juice for a serving of fruits and vegetables. To count as a serving, you usually must consume 4 oz., or half a cup, of the juice. For example, if you do not like vegetables and you would rather drink a glass of vegetable juice, you could substitute both of your vegetable servings and your option of a fruit or vegetable serving for 12 oz. of vegetable juice.
- "Diabetes Care"; Intake of Fruit, Vegetables, and Fruit Juices and Risk of Diabetes in Women; Lydia A. Bazzano, M.D., Ph.D. et al; July 2008
- Nutrisystem: Fresh Groceries for Every Day
- "American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine"; State of the Art Reviews: Glycemic Index, Obesity, and Chronic Disease; Kate Marsh et al; January 2008
- Nutrisystem: Our Menu