We all want to eat healthy food. When we are healthy, we are more likely to feel energetic, look good, be less prone to disease, and enjoy a longer life. But most of us don’t get our daily recommended doses of vitamins, minerals, protein, and fat from the foods that we love. What do you do when your favorite foods aren’t really providing the nutrients that you need? Don’t worry; healthy food doesn’t have to be boring or difficult to make.
The “nutrient-dense” label on a food product makes healthy food taste bland. In the advertising world, marketers depend on this cheap approach to selling products: if consumers think it’s easy to make, they’ll buy it. Fewer consumers realize that the nutritional value of popular foods has decreased over time. In fact, many consumers don’t realize the importance of vitamins and nutrients in their daily diet.
Healthy food doesn’t have to be bland, though. There are many tasty, healthy foods that don’t taste like they’ve been mixed with flavorings. The key is to pay attention to what ingredients are used and the amounts of each nutrient contained within them. Low-fat, low-sugar, low-calorie, and probiotic foods can provide the nutrients that our bodies need. The problem is that few Americans are getting enough of those nutrients in their diets.
An excellent source of nutrients is the fruit and vegetable aisle at your local grocery store. Even fruit sold in stores that claim to specialize in healthy food can be a healthy food if you know how to identify it. For example, many berry salads are high in sugar, even though the majority of the berry is water. Look for language on the labels of fruit and vegetables that indicate the amount of sugar used and look for a food that lists “purities” next to the ingredient list.
Many whole-wheat products are lower in calories and lower in fat than what you may think. Whole-wheatwheat tortillas, for instance, contain less fat and less salt than their “white” (processed) alternative, which helps you avoid unnecessary salt and sugar while still enjoying the nutritional value of whole wheat. Just like whole wheat bread, whole-wheat tortillas contain soluble fiber, a type of fiber that provides a healthy amount of dietary fiber. The fiber can reduce your risk of developing colon cancer, gallstones, stroke, and certain types of diabetes.
Junk food is often higher in calories and lower in nutritional value than what you may think. Because it’s lower in fiber, junk food can cause weight gain, dehydration, bloating, and gas. Processed junk food can be harmful to your body because of the chemicals and preservatives that can affect your body’s natural ability to absorb nutrients. If you’re trying to lose weight, avoid junk food if possible. However, if you love those types of foods, be sure to choose low-calorie and low-sugar versions. Your body needs those nutrients for healthy function and weight loss.