The quality of what we eat has a direct correlation to our health. It’s important that we fill our bodies with nutrient-dense food to give us the energy we need to live a healthy lifestyle. If you’re like most people, you are not getting enough nutrients each day. But, if you take some time to make these small changes in your diet, you’ll be surprised by what a difference it will make.
The method in which you cook your food could cause you to lose important nutrients. Grilling, frying, baking and broiling are among the most common methods used. Grilling and frying keep food moist and flavorful but reduce B vitamins. In addition to added fat in frying, grilling and frying both produce toxins from high heat, which can increase risks of certain cancers, heart attacks and other health problems. To decrease toxins, use lean meats, reduce cooking time and use healthy polyunsaturated oils when frying.
Baking and broiling are the two quickest and easiest methods. There are very little nutrients lost through baking, but broiling can reduce the B vitamin content in food. While both methods work well with meats, broiling tends to dry vegetables out.
Most Americans do not consume enough vegetables. Incorporating vegetables not only adds the vitamins and minerals you need in your diet, but it also helps fill you up with low-calorie, nutrient-dense food. For example, substituting vegetables such as mushrooms, broccoli, and spinach for traditional proteins on pizza significantly lowers the calorie count while greatly enhancing its nutritional value. You can also add a salad to your meal, make a veggie-filled omelet, or add zucchini to your brownies to get those much-needed nutrients.
Choosing high-quality foods provides you with the nutrients, vitamins and minerals needed to live a healthy life. High-quality food includes unrefined foods, whole grains, healthy proteins, healthy fats, and minimally processed foods, like fruits and vegetables. Avoid highly processed foods, sugary foods and drinks, high fructose corn syrup, trans fats and refined foods, such as white bread.
Eating healthily and changing your lifestyle can seem almost overwhelming at times. However, if you take it one step at a time, you’ll find it can be done, and you’ll feel better for it. So, next time you are craving something sweet, reach for a piece of fruit. Before long, you’ll find you crave the high-quality, nutrient rich-food over the low-quality junk food.
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