Category Archives: Health tips and facts

Few facts about minced meat…

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Hi,

I was inspired to write this post after reading an article in our local newspaper “De Gelderlander” and another one “Consumenten gids”. Both of them covered the topic of minced meat and the fat percentage.

[a]

The fact that quality of minced meat from supermarkets is far away from being ideal is something that I knew already without reading these articles. What surprised me in those two articles was note about the fat percentage. I am sure you recognize the problem of extended fat content (and kind of weird watery liquid) going out of your minced meat when you fry or bake it which reduces weight of your final dish surely by 1/4. That all are the tricks of producers to increase minced meat weight. They perfectly know how to make it heavier. I don’t know how this looks in other countries since I live in the Netherlands but here supermarkets have introduced so called lean minced meat. I’ve tried it couple of times but I haven’t been that much impressed. Now I know why…

 

According to European regulations such as (EC) No 1162/2009 or (EU) No 1169/2011 there are specific requirements concerning the designation of minced meat – see table below [1].

For regular minced meat it may contain between 20-30% fat. That’s quite a lot. It means, after thermal processing, you’ll loose about 1/5, 1/4, or 1/3 of the original volume.

According to Dutch legal norms the maximum fat percentage in minced meat is 25%, while in its lean version 15% [2]. The Consumers Association “Oprecht Consumentenbond” has checked 59 types of minced meat. The first thing they found out is that a regular minced meat from a butcher is less fat than lean minced meat from a supermarket. For example minced meat containing pigmeat had on average 19% of fat, minced pure beef had 17%, while the ones from a butcher had 13% less fat. Incredible!

I recall my first visits in Dutch supermarkets. I was really shocked and disappointed about poor meat quality. That was so contradicted to what I’ve imagined after seeing travel programs, or travel guides about the Netherlands which showed happy cows chewing grass, standing in the sun, etc. Lovely pictures…

[b]

So why then the quality is so bad? I think that is caused by multiple reasons. One of them may be increasing World population and overcrowding. That force to produce more. Overcrowd and race to success encourages producers to invest in cheap agriculture, manufacture and food processing. Personally I also thing that many people don’t care what food they eat, not speaking of quality. The trend of price reductions makes people prone to buy more of worse quality than less of good quality. I could list couple more and more…

[c]

Luckily there are organisations that promote healthy lifestyle and eating habits such us Dutch feeding center “Voedingscentrum”. Accorting to its drive five initiative so called “Schijf van Vijf” only meat having less than 10% fat is advised to consume [2]. Mostly because animal fat contains lots of saturated fat which is unhealthy to people due to increasing bad cholesterol (LDL). “Voedingscentrum” also advise to reduce quantity of meat consumption and heavily promote vegetarian dishes.

 

What do I do? Since couple of years I reduce quantity of meat and since couple of months I consume meat only from butcher… What actually surprised me was that the prices aren’t higher. Yes, it costs me extra time and without a car I couldn’t reach that place but luckily I have one and believe me, the quality of meat is so much better. No extra fat added, any other animal leftovers, water or chemicals to reduce the costs. This meat taste real and good. You go and pay fair price. There is no-one in between. This in fact is a win-win situation. I recall reading few months ago an article, also in “De Gelderlander”, which mentioned that there are less and less butchers in the Netherlands because consumers want cheaper food and don’t care that much about quality. That is also the reason why I want to support butchers. I also believe meat available at small slaughterhouse is from animals raised and treated in better way than the ones used for meat sold to supermarkets.

 

Tip? Start eating less meat, buy meat from butchers. If you have not that possibility and you still buy minced meat in supermarket choose the one that is animal friendly (ironic statement) and buy lean minced meat with the lowest fat percentage e.g. “tartare” [2].

 

Off-topic: Speaking of happy cows mentioned above. Do you remember Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), commonly known as mad cow disease? If you doubt about your cow and its health state, click here to learn more about how to recognize a healthy from a mad cow 🙂

[d]

 

Curio – to Dutch speaking readers – fat percentage in meat from Dutch supermarket:

 [e]

 

Ok, that is it… I hope I made you start thinking about what meat you eat and planted a seed to your future healthier change.

[f]

Greetings,

Anna *OnMyDish.wordpress.com*

Thanks for being with me. Please share this article if it made you thinking. If you are interested in my other posts, I encourage you to make use of “Post Index” where you can locate and learn about all the posts on my blog.

 

Sources:

[1] Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on the provision of food information to consumers…, Annex 6, Part B.

[2] Consumenten Gids, No.4, April 2017

Picture sources:

[a] http://www.biojournaal.nl/nieuws/2013/0313/Gehakt.jpg

[b] https://annabeljeuring.nl/sites/default/files/foto/reclame/koeien-in-de-ochtend.jpg

[c] http://www.voedingscentrum.nl/nl/gezond-eten-met-de-schijf-van-vijf.aspx

[d] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UAGoyjzSYZY

[e] https://www.consumentenbond.nl/binaries/content/gallery/cbhippowebsite/tests/gezond-eten/afbeeldingen/hoeveelheid-vet-in-gehakt.jpg

[f] https://assets.greenrushdaily.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Germinating-Cannabis-Seeds-hero.jpg

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Detoxed Lifestyle Challenge…

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Hi,

Since couple years I am continuously reading a lot of books and articles about food industry, and watching documentaries in regard to this topic. My interest concerns not only food but also daily life products such as cosmetics, packaging, dyes, electronics, toys, and clothing! I am terrified with the negative health effects that these items have, including high amount of people with cancer. This seems to be the most common “killer” of today’s society. I bet all of us know at least one person who has/had cancer.

I’d like to shed some light to scientific jargon and then show you the list of products containing EDCs.

edcs-substances

 

The reason of many new, serious civilization diseases are among others EDCs (endocrine disrupting chemicals) such as: brominated flame retardants, well known Bisphenol A (BPA), phthalates (four types: Diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP), Dibutyl phthalate (DBP), Di-isobutyl phthalate (DiBP) and Benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP)- these are luckily already banned by REACH* in toys and children’s products and will be restricted in electrical equipment by RoHS** from July 2019). Unfortunately the list continues and there are even more substances listed by the EU as Category 1 potential EDCs including several other phthalates, tributyltin compounds, Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers (PBDEs), nonylphenols and their ethoxylates, octylphenols, Short Chain Chlorinated Paraffins (SCCP) and several metals including aluminium and copper.

Let’s focus now a bit on a definition of endocrine disruptor, the definition developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and widely used on a global basis: “An endocrine disruptor is an exogenous substance or mixture that alters function(s) of the endocrine system and consequently causes adverse health effects in an intact organism, or its progeny, or (sub) populations”. These harmful effects on humans (and animals) are: sexual dysfunction, loss of fertility, cancer, hindrance in natural hormone production resulting in destructive effects on metabolism, hair loss, obesity, growth and development, sleep and mood… Shall I list more?

As you see, in the marathon for more, cheaper, smaller/bigger, whatever you think of… in the race for better future we kind of forgot about our health and the natural environment.

marathon-to-better

Luckily there are great initiatives such as the one started by a group of young researchers from Gdańsk, Poland (my hometown:)), owners of Detoxed Home LLC business, an initiative called “Detoxed Lifestyle Challenge” . Their mission is to show and implement recommendations for reducing exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in daily life. Their challenge is to change the lifestyle into free from EDCs, without sacrificing the benefits of the civilization. If you want to read more about Detoxed Lifestyle Challenge I encourage you to subscribe to their page, here. I fully support their mission and join the challenge as well.

To make this story more real, I’d like to list some of products containing EDCs:

  • Canned food (containing Bisphenol A)
  • Plastic containers (containing Bisphenol A and Phthalates)
  • Plastic bottles (containing Bisphenol A and Phthalates)- the smaller the bottles, the worse because the proportion of EDC to liquid is high
  • Plastic bags (containing Bisphenol A and Phthalates)
  • Cosmetics (containing Bisphenol A, Phthalates and Parabens)
  • Electronic devices (containing Bisphenol A and Phthalates)
  • Clothes/textiles (containing brominated flame retardants)
  • Thermal printed receipts (containing Bisphenol A)- yes, the receipts you get in a shop or restaurants…
  • Eye lenses (containing Bisphenol A)

products-containing-edcs

It’s not possible to avoid all products… But you can try to make at least small steps, same as I did.

I’m not able to escape from electronic devices… and I will not resign from cosmetics but I try to choose the most natural ones, without parabens and the ones that have the least ingredients possible. I switched from cremes to natural oils, etc. I minimised using plastic bags and try to use material or paper ones instead. I hardly eat/drink canned products. Whenever possible I try to store my food in glass containers instead of plastic ones, like in below example…

Just look how simple that is… empty jam glass jar can make your food look more attractive and of course more healthy :):):)

glass-container

Are you with me? Will you also join the “Detoxed Lifestyle Challenge” and detox your home, relatives and environment? You can start to change now…

Greetings,

Anna *OnMyDish.wordpress.com*

If you are interested in my other posts, I encourage you to make use of “Post Index” where you can locate and learn about all the posts on my blog.

 

Regulations and Directives:

* REACH- European Union regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals

** RoHS- European Union directive on the Restriction of the use of certain Hazardous Substances in electrical and electronic equipment

Sources:

Fresh food all year round…

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Hi,

I was scrolling my old pictures and found this one. These were vegetables that I got in May in my organic package.

vegetables

If you see that photo you may indeed link these vegetables to that period of the year. How misleading that is… Nowadays with all greediness for highest revenue, food became a part of intense, unhealthy manufacturing industry. I do not write about processed food, there is no doubt this kind of food is produced with purpose to make the manufacturers, brand owners richer and more influential. I am writing about unprocessed food, such as fruits or vegetables.

Expensive marketing tricks made people believe they need to eat a strawberry or a tomato in winter. Do you really need that food in winter? No you don’t. What you need are products that provide lots of vitamins and minerals, food that is as little processed as possible, food that will grow during the season, it will be cultivated outside in soil, not coming from hot-/greenhouse farming.

The hot-/greenhouse farming creates food that in fact will never grew in winter. If you have your own garden you will know it is not possible to cultivate strawberries or tomatoes in winter. At least, not in northern Europe… I am sure, in fact I saw it myself today, despite it’s just February I could buy all these vegetables/fruits in my supermarket. This makes me really sad. The availability of the same products all year long make life so boring and so unhealthy. The truths is, food that does not grow in your garden at that time of the year, is either coming from hot-/greenhouse farming or from warm country far away. In result, it’s either low quality or has big impact on our environment due to transportation. Therefore, once again – please eat local, think global. Even little adjustment to the season will be beneficial to you and the environment…

Greetings,

OnMyDish.wordpress.com

If you are interested in my other posts, I encourage you to make use of “Post Index” where you can locate and learn about all the posts on my blog.

Future Food…

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Hi,

As busy mom I had no time to write any posts. My apologies. My head is full of ideas and I hope to find more time in the nearest future.

Just this week I was listening to a journalistic article which covered subject of cultured meat. This journalist mentioned about sponsored research for “vegetarian” meat replacement. Meat grown on a petri plate…

[1]

in-vitro-meat

In the last months I’ve been reading a lot about food industry and all the tricks of food marketing. That’s made me thinking of what is still left to eat. I’m really shocked about all chemicals, sugars, fat, and salt added to our food. Nowadays food is a product, like shoes, table. Only what counts is the profit of food company. It’s not about our health. It’s not real food any more! Well.. maybe you can buy some from a local farmer but it’s super expensive and not available in a regular super market.

In these last months I’ve been also thinking a lot about becoming vegetarian, if not even vegan. I can’t really stand the cruelty that happens to all animals. It really hurt when I think of it. However, I’m not convinced yet if this is really my thing. Therefore this topic is even more interesting to me!

So hearing that journalist I reminded myself about an article I’ve been reading. It’s been about cultured meat. Thanks to that article I found this interesting portal http://www.futurefood.org which writes all about replacing animal products with products that are not derived from animals. I know it sounds fake and artificial but the idea is to growth meat, milk drinks or egg replacement from the original proteins. The structure and taste should be identical with the original/natural ones.

Is it good and healthy? I don’t know but this is definitely an interesting topic. I really recommend to read their page. If you’re a vegetarian/vegan, take a look at “vegetarian meat” section that lists all kind of meat substitutes. It’s really interesting and useful. You get forwarded to different meat substitutes producers in all kind of countries.

So here’s a citation from “Future Food” portal about cultured meat: “In-Vitro meat is the (idea of) manufacturing of meat products through “tissue-engineering” technology… Starting cells are taken painlessly from live animals, they are put into a culture media where they start to proliferate and grow, independently from the animal. Theoretically, this process would be efficient enough to supply the global demand for meat.”

[2]

start of the process

[3]

petri plate

[4]

petri plates

This is crazy and very brave vision… I am really intrigued by this topic. Do I want to eat this kind of food? I’m not sure yet…

Just take a look yourself. I’m really curious of your opinion!

[5]

how it works

Greetings,

Anna *OnMyDish.wordpress.com*

Photo sources:

[1] http://cdn.onegreenplanet.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/10//2011/07/in-vitro-meat.png

[2] http://www.dietsciencenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/test-tube-burger.jpg

[3] http://cdn.thedailybeast.com/content/dailybeast/articles/2013/08/07/can-vegetarians-eat-in-vitro-meat-the-debate-rages/jcr:content/image.img.2000.jpg/1376005894837.cached.jpg

[4] https://www.audiotech.com/trends-magazine/wp-content/themes/Trends/timthumb.php?src=http://www.audiotech.com/trends-magazine/images/articles/2008/07/06.jpg&h=300&w=565&zc=1&q=90

[5] http://www.new-harvest.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/IVM.jpg

Eat Local, Think Global…

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Hi,

We are often told to eat and act locally but with an increased amount of oversees products on our shelves, I start to think… who in fact does follow this rule? We are so prone to buy easy food. Already chopped for us, fresh for a week, ready and easy to use. Is it really healthy? More than a year ago I have noticed that the taste of salad that is washed, chopped and packed is suspiciously strange. In fact, it wasn’t tasty at all! It didn’t taste like a salad! The ingredients label indicated just the salad…. What about the chemicals that were not mentioned but easy to taste? Why everyone is lying to us? Why for example all “healthy” packed orange juices taste all the same, all year long? We are living in an extremely deceitful world. Just becoming more unhealthy, weak and obese…

For everyone who has a bit of interest in a healthy life style I recommend this great youtube movie!

Click the link to see it:

Eat Local Think Global – Rujuta Diwekar Health Tips – Indian Food Wisdom

eat local think global

Greetings,

Anna *OnMyDish.wordpress.com*

 

If you are interested in my other posts, I encourage you to make use of “Post Index” where you can locate and learn about all the posts on my blog.

Organic food and health

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Hi,

It’s been a while since I’ve read an interesting article.

Since I buy organic vegetables, I found this topic particularly interesting.

According to Stanford University in United States, organic food is not healthier than a regular food. The director of Dutch Louis Bolk Institute, Mr. Jan Willem Erisman, didn’t agree and responded that above 90% from 237 researches has been concentrating on just a few components such as vitamins or proteins. He underlined that many other components, which obviously have also important role in human health, were not inspected yet. Summarising, according to Mr. Erisman, effects on human health have not been fully researched yet and it is too early to make a general final statement about organic food and its health effects [1].

Louis Bolk Institute has performed many researches, i.e. on effects of conventional vs. organic dairy products on children. Together with Maastricht University in the Netherlands and Swedish Paracelsus Hospital, came to a conclusion that women who ate organic dairy products in their lactation period, produced more favourable fatty acids than the ones who ate conventional dairy products. Further, the first group had less trans fats. It was stated that up to 30% of two years old children had less eczema than kids eating conventional, regular milk products [2]. This is just one of many examples.

There are speculations that lack of chemical fertilizers and pesticides in organic food is the reason of making organic food healthier. Still, making a statement that organic food is healthier than the regular one, can lead to overuse in marketing [3] and it requires further research [1].

You may ask: “Am I healthier by eating organic food?” I would say: it doesn’t really matter. It is not only that you eat organic vs. conventional food. People who eat organic are more interested in eating healthy and being healthy. I doubt if you see many people buying organic and then drinking an excessive amounts of sodas, alcohol, eating fast foods, sweets, or smoking. Many of them are so self-conscious and have healthier lifestyle. Sport is one of the factors to be healthy.

So… don’t think too much about what you should eat and what you shouldn’t. Why don’t you go just now and do some simple exercises for a couple of minutes?!?!?!?

It’s a good start …:)

Greetings,

Anna *OnMyDish.worpdress.com*

Source:

[1] “Voeding Nu”, Te vroeg voor conclusies over effecten biologisch voedsel, http://www.voedingnu.nl/te-vroeg-voor-conclusies-over-effecten-biologisch.173871.lynkx?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=utcam&utm_content=Te+vroeg+voor+conclu&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_name=Te+vroeg+voor+conclusies+over+effecten+biologisch+voedsel, 5 September 2012

[2] Louis Bolk Instituut, Biologisch-dynamisch melk gezonder, http://www.louisbolk.org/news/114/160/Biologisch-dynamische-melk-gezonder/, 22 September 2011

[3] Louis Bolk Instituut, Koala: onderzoek naar biologisch gezonder, http://www.louisbolk.org/nl/onderzoek/gezondheidszorg-en-voeding/voeding/koala-onderzoek/

The correlation of vitamin D and weight

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Hi,

Have you noticed that during the summer time you are a bit slimmer? Is it caused because you choose seasonal vegetables, fruits, and drink more water? Or is it too warm and you have less appetite? Actually all of these factors influence our weight, however according to the studies published in the Journal of Women’s Health: “older women with insufficient vitamin D in their blood, are gaining weight easier and more than women with sufficient vitamin D level” [1]. Would you ever think of that?

The study lasted for 5 years and involved 4659 women, older than 65 years. It was performed on women who did not plan to lose their weight… [1]. Is it applicable to younger generation as well? I have no further details about the study but just this short information shows that the sun is important in our life

Best greetings,

Anna

*OnMyDish.wordpress.com*

[1] “Voeding Nu”: Nadine Salehy; Laag vitamine D-niveau gelinkt aan gewichtstoename, http://www.voedingnu.nl/laag-vitamine-d-niveau-gelinkt-aan.171795.lynkx, 29 juni 2012.

Healthy food hunter

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Hi,

We all know that some healthier, organic food costs twice as much as regular, non-organic food.
That is probably a barrier for most of us, especially the ones who have less income. Wilma Waterlander in her PhD writes that a cheaper healthy food probably contributes to healthier food choices. She wrote that discounts encourage people to buy healthier food. However, discounts should be set just to fruits and vegetables. If you offer discount on all healthy products, it will just lead to higher caloric intake [1].
I agree with the author. Many times I feel really bad about the fact that healthy food is so expensive. As you know I buy organic vegetables but not all the time. If something is organic or not, in fact is not the highest priority for me. Of course, I feel much better eating something that is healthier and better to the environment but I don’t cry if I buy a normal food.

The most important for me is to deliver as much vegetables and fruits as possible. I try to eat recommended quantities of fruit and vegetables which are 200g/per day each (depending on scientific source, your age, gender, etc.).
In below picture you will notice how much I enjoy eating healthy. Beautiful, tasty, healthy fruits and vegetables for this week for two of us:) Yummy, they just look so appetising….!


Following one of the cooking groups, I found an interesting post about: “What best describes your cooking personality?” began by Meta West (Independent Cooking Instructor, Food Writer and Consultant, see more info and interesting tips at: http://cookingwithbarryandmeta.blogspot.com.
In my opinion “cooking personality”, all dishes that you prepare and consume are based on your lifestyle.
My curiousity pushed me to check out and also do online personality assessment. I clicked on the link posted by Barry and Meta and with the “My Plate, My Way” [2] interactive tool I did the test.
Do you have any doubts about my results? According to the test I am a “Health Seeker”. Well, that does not surprise for me at all. In case of doubt, scroll up and look at the picture once more:)
According to the site there are different food behaviours which depend i.e. on income, prizes, “the way we view food, what motivates us to choose one food over another or how much time we’re willing to spend preparing a meal” [2].

I encourage you to do the test. I am curious of your results:)
See below for all cooking personalities mentioned by ” beefitswhatsfordinner “:

1. Lean lover
You take pride in the way you look and it shows. The food choices you make not only help you manage your weight, but they can also help you feel good about yourself. While your current diet is on the healthy side, you seek improvement and satisfaction in your healthy eating habits. People with your personality type often go out of their way to select healthy food and enjoy trying new foods [3].

2. Buff and Cut
People with your personality type usually enjoy being physically active. Whether it is a walk in the park or a regular exercise routine, getting your blood flowing is a great way to feel good about yourself. You enjoy new experiences when it comes to both your exercise routines and the foods you try [3].

3. Cost Slicer
As a smart shopper, you know that it pays to look for specials on your favourite foods. However, you often find it difficult to get healthy foods that fit into your budget, especially in today’s economy [3].

4. Health Seeker
You make health a priority in your life, so you appreciate when social occasions incorporate a healthful element—whether it be food or fitness. As you’re staying active or eating, your favourite times are when you are surrounded by friends and family [3].

5. Family Chef
For you, family is a source of pride and pleasure. Sharing mealtimes with your family provides a time to tell stories about your day and keeps you close. But pleasing the whole family can sometimes be difficult, especially if you have picky eaters [3].

6. Time Tackler
You aim to live a healthy life, but often find it hard because you are constantly running from point A to point B tackling your ever-growing To-Do list each day. The “grab-and-go” type of meals and snacks appeal to you, but they may not be the healthiest options. Once you know something is good for you, it’s a no-brainer because it removes the guesswork [3].

7. Flavour Saveru
Flavour rules in your book. Life is too short to eat foods you don’t enjoy, so you look for foods that will provide taste above all else. You love reading and trying new recipes on your quest for flavourful food [3].

8. Two-Stepper
People with your personality type often eat to live, rather than live to eat. But in doing so, you may find yourself eating the same foods a lot, which can lead to “food fatigue.” Changing up your routine doesn’t have to be complicated, if you just spend a few minutes each week planning out simple but delicious meals that you can prepare in less than 30 minutes [3].

Let me know what you think about the whole idea of cheaper prices leading to increased interest of healthy products. I am also curious of what you think about the cooking personalities and what your result was.

Greetings,
Anna *OnMyDish.wordpress.com*

Sources:
[1] Nadine Salehy, Korting op groente en fruit stimuleert gezonde keuze, http://www.voedingnu.nl/korting-op-groente-en-fruit-stimuleert-gezonde.171450.lynkx, 22 juni 2012
[2] http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/myplatemyway.aspx
[3] http://www.beefitswhatsfordinner.com/myplatemywaypersonalities.aspx

The beneficial influence of vegetables on our weight

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Hi,

Below scene has inspired me to write about this subject.

A kid in a bar has put on his plate a salad. His mother has noticed it and shouted: “You don’t eat vegetables. Put that away!”. Instead of a tasty and healthy salad he was mad to eat a burger. Poor kid…

I’m sure you already know that vegetables are healthy:) They are a great source of vitamins, minerals, fibres, and they deliver few calories.

If you eat many vegetables your stomach is full and you will automatically eat less other stuff. In general that should lead to lower caloric intake.
Why?
– Fibres and water that are in vegetables increase volume of the meal,
– Fibres cause that you need to chew more, what means you eat longer and less.

If you eat vegetables as first course the total amount of energy will be less.
According to the science “if you eat soup as a starter, the energy-intake of the total meal will be decreased with 20%, 7% when you eat a small salad of 150g and 12% if you eat a big salad of 300g”. However, bear in mind that it won’t influence the rest of the day!

This information was taken from the scientific magazine “Voeding Nu”: Ellen Dutman, Wilrike Pasman, Annette Stafleu, TNO; De verzadigde werking van groente en de relatie met overgewicht. Voeding Nu, Januari/Februari 2012, 9-11.