The next time you wander the aisles of the supermarket, take a second look at some of the food labels. If you’re counting five, 10 or even 20 different ingredients in a box of something basic like macaroni and cheese, there’s probably a whole lot more to the story than you think. When foods get manufactured for a long shelf life, the processors often have to remove the essential vitamins and nutrients. This means you’re not buying the food itself, but more like the remnants of what it was once — even though it still tastes more or less the same.
The benefits of a whole foods diet are right in the name — you get the whole food and no fillers. That means you get the most nutritional value from your meals. There are plenty of good healthy diet foods to ensure you’re giving your body what it needs. As such, consider these two free nutrition counseling tips to help guide you during your next grocery trip.
Use the stove, not the microwave.
Stoves are expensive, so why wouldn’t you use one if you paid for it? Heating your food over an open flame might take slightly longer, but chances are it’ll be better for your health in the long run. A recent study in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health suggests the convenience of microwaveable containers might not be so convenient after all.
Take microwave popcorn, for example. Those bags tend to have chemicals that line the insides in order to prevent the oil from seeping into the paper. When the chemicals (made from fluoride) are heated, they just might end up in the actual popcorn itself. The same can be true for any plastic package deemed “microwave safe.” Over time, these chemicals could lead to serious health problems. Though it might take a bit longer, always opt for the stove when it comes to heating up and preparing your meals. That’s just a good rule of thumb to have, free online nutrition counseling or not.
Oatmeal and fruit, not sugary cereal.
Lucky Charms and Count Chocula are both delicious ways to start your day, but ask yourself: Can anything good come from eating marshmallows for breakfast? The answer, of course, is no. Those two (plus scores of “fruity” cereals in the grain aisle) taste great because they’re loaded up with added sugars (bad sugars) and fake flavors. Still, cereal can be quite good for you, assuming you’re taking in the right kinds of whole grains when you eat it.
Instead of pecking and hunting to avoid the marshmallow pieces in your Lucky Charms, heat up a bowl of heart-healthy, no-sugar-added oatmeal instead. Then, add all the fresh fruit slices you want to naturally sweeten it up (with good sugars). Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries are all wonderful choices, as are bananas and even pineapple chunks for a more exotic taste. You won’t be stuck with the sugar overload, plus you’ll have all the dietary power of whole grains on your side.
Thus concludes your first online nutrition counseling. For more information about your specific nutritional needs, always talk with your doctor. More.