A Guide to Choosing Healthy Foods
Food is any substance ingested to provide nutrition to an individual. In its simplest terms food is any food that is consumed to supply the necessary nutrients for an individual’s body. In this sense, food can be classified into two broad categories, namely, man made and natural food. Man made food consists of artificially manufactured foodstuffs, for example, sugar, salt, flour and artificial sweeteners. Natural food on the other hand consists of any food that has come into existence through mankind’s efforts, including milk, eggs, poultry, fish, etc. However, natural food is generally of animal, plant or even fungal source, and also contains necessary nutrients, including proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, or minerals.
The problem with the majority of people today is that they believe that to get all the necessary nutrients from foods, one must eat large quantities of them, i.e. eating lots of raw or uncooked fruits and vegetables. This is a misconception, as a small amount of fruits and vegetables in conjunction with a balanced diet of whole grains, legumes, vegetables, fish, meat and other dairy products, is highly nutritious. Indeed, a well-balanced diet containing these foods, along with the addition of some healthy oils, will provide a healthy quantity of nutrients for our bodies.
When you cook food in order to make it more attractive to the taste buds, the nutrients are destroyed, and the food becomes high in fat, grease, salt and sugar, all of which are associated with increased weight, health issues, and a generally unhealthy lifestyle. Hence, if you want to eat healthily, you need to avoid cooking your food at all, except when you absolutely have to, in order to extract the most possible nutrients from the food. In this regard, you need to pay attention to what you eat and in particular, the foods that you include in your daily meals.
Whilst you will undoubtedly enjoy some delicious home-cooked meals, what you will also find is that the best tasting food that you can get to eat on a regular basis, is likely to be relatively low in fat, high in fibre and protein, and also contains little or no saturated fat. One of the foods that is particularly low in fat but yet very tasty is sweet potatoes. As you probably already know, sweet potatoes contain almost nothing that is bad for you, apart from a few calories. Therefore, including sweet potatoes in your diet, alongside a well-balanced and healthy diet, is extremely important if you are trying to improve your nutrition. If you are interested in learning how to add sweet potatoes to your diet, you may wish to buy sweet potato puddings, and make them at home every day, and gradually work your way up to consuming larger portions of them each day.
You should also see food that is high in protein, but at the same time low in fats. Such foods are nuts, beans and pulses. These are all great foods that will have positive effects on your health, as they will provide you with the nutrients and vitamins that you need on a daily basis. You will often find that nuts and pulses are packaged in smaller amounts than the fats in them, which means that you get a better value for money. Similarly, you should include lots of beans, which are loaded with proteins, which can also boost your energy levels and help to control your weight. Finally, it is important to remember that fruits and vegetables will provide you with most of the vitamins and nutrients that you need.
Although it is tempting to snack on sugary foods when you are feeling hungry, you should resist the temptation and instead snack on nutrient-rich foods such as nuts and pulses. The truth is that you do not lose any weight by eating sugary foods, because the excess calories just end up stored as fat in your body. Instead, you should eat more often, to ensure that your metabolism stays at an optimal level. This will ensure that all of the nutrients that are essential to good health are consumed, as well as any extra vitamins and nutrients that you may require to aid weight loss.