3 Tips For Making The Best Food Choices
If you have made the decision to start eating healthier but find yourself confused about what foods at your grocery store are truly healthy, here are three tips to get you started.
- Focus on Fresh, Whole Foods - This is always your best bet. Plan meals consisting of fresh produce, lean meats, wild-caught fish and whole grains and legumes. These foods are natural and provide the best source of quality calories. Vegetables can be eaten with meals and also as snacks. Eating five servings a day will help keep you full and less likely to snack on processed foods high in sugar and carbohydrates.
- Beware of Misleading Labels - If you purchase prepackaged, processed foods, beware of labels. It can be tempting to buy snack foods and breakfast items labeled "lightly sweetened" or "fat free" but these claims do not mean the food is healthy. Lightly sweetened is not a regulated term, and may contain a ton of sugar. Fat free does not mean that the food does not contain unhealthy trans fats. Read the label: If it lists partially hydrogenated oil in its ingredients, then it contains trans fats.
- Avoid Processed Foods with Unfamiliar Ingredients - Some ingredients listed on packaged foods look like they are written in a different language. Not only that, but the list goes on and on. The best way to buy these types of foods is to look for the fewest ingredients possible, and to look for ingredients that you recognize. Too many of these foods contain artificial colors, flavors and a variety of ingredients meant to preserve, add flavor and texture. These ingredients provide no value and can be potentially harmful.
Sticking with whole foods and limiting processed foods will not only make you feel better, it will make you look better and shopping for seasonal fruits and vegetables can save you money on your grocery bill. It's not about cutting calories, it's about consuming quality food (healing foods) that won't leave you feeling depleted and hungry a short while later.
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