Picking out healthy foods off a menu or at the grocery store may seem easy. For some, it means avoiding chips, soda, and cookies. For others, shopping or ordering healthy food requires scrutinizing every single food label and searching every ingredient that’s not familiar before they even consider selecting it.
Regardless of your shopping style, it’s important to focus not just on what you shouldn’t be doing when shopping for healthy food but what you should be doing. The question is, how can you pick healthy foods the right way?
This article will cover just that while including some common misconceptions people have with regard to healthy food.
One of the things we forget when it comes to healthy eating is that it is important to not just pick out good ingredients but pick out ones that can keep us full for longer. This is important especially for those who have control issues over how many calories they consume.
Opting for foods that can keep us full can also help us cut cravings. After all, some of the first things we turn to when we are hungry in between meals are salty, sugary, and fatty foods: the things that aren’t good for us to begin with. But healthier alternatives that can make us less hungry include almonds, cayenne pepper, eggs, avocados, and legumes.
Sexual performance, if anything, affects men more than it does women. While Kegel exercises for men are said to boost low testosterone levels, increase sperm count, restore a low libido, help combat against erectile dysfunction, and can regulate premature or delayed ejaculation, one’s diet plays an essential role in sexual performance too.
In fact, some healthy foods that can boost testosterone levels include coconut, pumpkin seeds, maca, chia seeds, and avocado.
How many of you are more likely to consider purchasing one of the best diet pills rather than changing your diet? Probably many. While diet pills can absolutely work, often, a combination of different life changes is important if you wish to achieve the best results.
When picking healthy foods, we often pick things we know are healthy such as fruits and vegetables. It is true that maintaining a fruit- and veggie-based diet can achieve quick weight loss, but what many skip out on is picking specific foods that are known to aid with weight loss based on their benefits, such as citrus, eggs, nuts, berries, and beans.
One major misconception when it comes to healthy eating is that anything with any type of fat it in – vegetable oils, meats, dairy products, etc. – will make you fat. However, dietitians and nutritionists say that fat is “bad,” they are referring to unhealthy fats known as saturated and trans fats, often found in desserts and other unhealthy foods.
There are good fats known as monosaturated or polyunsaturated fats that are crucial for weight loss, heart health, and optimal brain functioning. According to Help Guide, healthy fats are found in olives, vegetable oils, nuts, nut kinds of butter, and the like.
When people make the decision to select healthier foods, they are most often seen in the produce section of a grocery store, especially avoiding the “snack” aisle. Usually, we think of snacks being salty and sugary. Chips, candy, and cookies tend to come to mind first.
But many don’t realize that there are a significant amount of healthy (and tasty) snacks to choose from on the snack aisle: nuts, applesauce, protein bars, granola, raisins, kale chips, and fruit/veggie leather. You can often also find organic, gluten-free, vegan/vegetarian, non-GMO, 100-percent natural versions of your favorite snacks.
Just like with the snack food aisle, many try to avoid the frozen section of the grocery store or even go as far as to avoid restaurants they know utilize frozen foods in their dishes, worrying that they contain little to no nutrients and may even be unhealthy for our bodies.
However, research showed that frozen foods are actually just as healthy as fresh foods, that is if the foods are healthy, to begin with. This can include frozen meats, vegetables, fruits, gluten-free pizza crusts, veggie fries, pasta, whole-grain waffles, breakfast bowls, and stir fry dishes. Not all frozen foods, or even TV dinners for that matter, are bad!
Carbohydrates, like frozen foods, tend to get a bad rep. People often go on a low-carb diet and believe carbohydrates on a broad scale is what is making them “fat and puffy.” That said, many try to cut out pieces of bread, plates of pasta, and other carbohydrates in the attempt to lose weight.
According to One Green Planet, it is a common myth that carbs are “bad” for us. However, as with foods containing fats, there are good carbs and bad carbs. In fact, carbs (the good kind) are an essential food group. Interestingly, One Green Planet also noted that carbohydrates are burned more efficiently those fat calories.
Usually, when we make the decision to eat healthier, it’s geared around what we want our bodies to look like. Perhaps a majority of folks turn to better foods simply to lose weight. But what about our teeth and gums? Dental health is important to.
Did you know that a healthy diet can reduce the risk of tooth decay (cavities), gum disease, and other oral-related issues? In fact, oral issues can eventually affect other parts of the body and may trigger different cancers, dementia, diabetes, complications during pregnancy, infertility and reproductive dysfunctions, and respiratory infections. Sometimes the best diet plan may result from a best overall healthy habit for you.
Picking healthy foods should be about selecting things that good for us in general, not just are good for our insides, right? When I say select foods that are good for you externally, I do not mean pick things that can help you achieve a slimmer figure or more muscle, I’m talking about what it can do for your hair, skin, nails, and the like.
You are what you eat after all! Carrots, nuts and seeds, eggs, citrus, spinach, and avocado are all healthy options both internally and externally. You may have also heard that some of these foods can be placed topically for the sake of better hair, skin, and nails too. Ever heard of an avocado hair mask or carrot facial cream? They exist!
How many times do you look at the nutritional label of a product or check the nutrition menu at a restaurant simply to see how many calories something has? The main thing to remember is that, while it is important to consume a healthy amount of calories, focusing merely on calories is not the best way to lose weight and stay healthy.
It is true that many fruits and vegetables and other healthy ingredients have very few calories, but what is more important is emphasizing the nutritional value of the foods you select.
Among all of these common things, we neglect when picking healthy foods, which ones do you most often forget? Chances are, there are multiple on this list that you have yet to incorporate into your healthy food selection process. But that’s okay; now you know what to do.
Overall, it is obvious that there’s a difference between buying healthier foods and buying foods that are truly healthy for us on a general level. Too often, we are stuck on the idea that we should just avoid certain things or that if something has healthy ingredients, it’s okay to select. Then there are some who opt for non-fat and low caloric items.
Your health is much more than just choosing foods that seem healthy. It’s more importantly about focusing on the quality of the products we choose. So, read those product labels and educate yourself on nutrition!