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Healthy Eating

Ask the Expert: What Counts as a Vegetable?

Veena Grandhi, a registered dietitian with TriHealth Corporate Health, answers a Local 12 viewer question about nutritional values and what can count as a vegetable, as well as which fruit juices are acceptable to take with medications.

Fruit Juice: How Does it Impact Medication Consumption?

There is a certain compound in grapefruit juice that can alter the way one’s body absorbs certain medications, so Veena warns against consuming grapefruit juice in combination with medicine. However, other juices are usually OK, because “they don’t have that particular compound,” Veena points out.

Pickles and Corn Chips: Do these Count as Vegetables?

When it comes to determining whether questionable food items – like pickles and corn chips – count as vegetables, Veena says the food needs to compare in fat, calories, sodium, and other nutrients, to a piece of fruit or a vegetable.

Corn chips, for example, have too much fat, while pickles and olives have too much salt.

“They’re all great condiments and accessories to our food, but they don’t count as a vegetable serving,” Veena explains.

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