Don't peel your veggies—it could actually help you lose weight

Vegetable peel contains fiber and healthy nutrients that help keep you fuller for longer

Root vegetables unpeeled
(Image credit: Getty)

Many people who take on a new diet often struggle to fight the urge to snack. There can be many reasons behind this, such as a binge addiction or dependence on sugary foods. But for some, it might be that they aren't eating meals that increase their satiety. One way around this can be done by leaving the skin on your vegetables.

While protein is the most filling macronutrient we can consume (and why people like to top up with some of the best protein powders for weight loss) you can also increase satiety and reduce snacking by consuming more foods that are rich in fiber.

One easy way to up your intake of fiber is to avoid peeling the skin off vegetables. Next time you go to prep veggies like sweet potatoes, raw beetroots or carrots, leave your peeler out of it. Not only will this save time and prevent food waste but it can help you feel more full after meals, filling you up on healthy nutrients such as fiber. 

Leading nutritionist Fiona Hunter told Fit&Well that vegetable skins are an excellent source of fiber. She also revealed that the levels of vitamins and minerals inside veggies are more concentrated just under the skin – "So if you don’t eat the skin you are missing out," added Hunter. 

Her claims about vegetable peel and their health benefits are backed up by scientific research. According to a study published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, exact volumes of fiber will vary, fresh fruit and vegetables can contain up to one-third more fiber before removing the peel.

Hunter, who has partnered up with healthy food company Good4U to encourage people to eat more seasonally, said, "Eating more fiber will help you feel fuller for longer because the body has to work harder to digest the fiber, so food stays in the digestive tract longer which increases satiety (fullness)."

Roasted root vegetables with the skin still on

(Image credit: Getty)

Filling yourself up on vegetables and their skins can curb snacking habits and assist you in managing your appetite and weight loss goals. Hunter also shared with Fit&Well that fiber helps boost the numbers of probiotic ‘friendly’ bacteria living in the gut, which can help strengthen your immune system, and may also help reduce hunger.

As well as prep, the way you cook your vegetables can also affect their nutritional benefits. Other research has discovered cooked and pureed is the best way to cook carrots if you want to boost your immune system.

One thing to note when eating vegetables with the skin on is that you should always wash them first. You are still saving time by not peeling the skin off but do ensure you run them under the tap to remove any residues. If don't particularly enjoy vegetables, you can get similar benefits from certain fruits with skin, such as apples and pears. 

Alternatively, you might not be in the know of how many yummy vegetable dishes there are out there to try. You can branch out your knowledge by checking out recipes from some of the best vegan cookbooks in our guide.

Jessica Downey

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 

When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.