There are so many different types of grains, fruits, veggies, ect, right? Not all types of these items are created equal. Read on for which to eat, and which to avoid!
- Eat Whole Grains, Not Processed Grains. Think oatmeal and the ancient grains such as quinoa and farro. These foods tend to be high in fiber and contain a large and diverse nutrient profile. Avoid foods like processed white bread, pastas, and processed cereals. These foods are loaded in added sugars and preservatives, and the processing stage often stripped all the benefits that a whole grain offers.
- Eat Lean Proteins like Turkey, Fish, and Chicken. Avoid Red Meat and Processed Meats. Sure, a hot dog has a little bit of protein to its name. However, it is also loaded in preservatives and sodium, and has been linked to colorectal cancer. Red meat has also earned its poor reputation, and can contribute to high cholesterol and a host of other health problems. Fish and poultry tend to have less saturated fats, less cholesterol, and more healthy properties like omega-3’s. It also tends to be lower in calories.
- For Dairy, Enjoy Greek Yogurt and Full-Fat Hard Cheese, Not Flavored Yogurt or Processed Cheese. As with the other selections, the processed varieties are loaded with sugar and sodium, as well as preservatives and other unhealthy ingredients. Spruce up Greek Yogurt with fruit or nuts for a delicious and wholesome snack.
- Eat Fresh or Frozen Fruit, not Fruit Drinks or Canned Fruit. There is a pattern arising: anything processed or removed from its natural from tends to be unhealthy. Manufacturers add tons of sugar to fruit drinks and fruit cups to make them taste better. Frozen fruit is as healthy as fresh, as it is frozen when harvested and retains its nutritional value.
- Eat Leafy and Cruciferous Veggies, Not Canned or Starchy Veggies. Canned veggies have all the violations as all the other processed items on this list, and starchy veggies such as potatoes and corn have little nutritional value. Think broccoli, kale, other leafy greens- these are high in minerals and fiber, unlike their starchy counterparts.
So, not all varieties within a specific food group are created equal. As a general guideline, when given the choice between a whole or processed option (a peach from the produce section or a fruit cup), always choose the whole option. Choose lean meats, whole grains, and fresh foods and you will be well on your way to a healthy, happy life!