Nutritional Foods - What Should You Be Eating?
Simply speaking, all food carries some nutritional value. Whether it is good or bad for your health is what needs to be determined before you decide to include it as part of your diet. The amount of highly nutritional foods you eat should far outweigh the amount of junky foods you consume on a daily basis, and everything should always be balanced with adequate exercise.
While everyone is different and has varied needs, such as seniors and other age groups and those with some medical conditions, almost everyone requires a similar amount of nutritional foods in their diets. To make this easier, many health care providers, and even the government, provide a variety of tools to help you choose the right foods. In fact, it's a law that all packaged foods must carry nutritional labels on them so that you know exactly what the nutritional value of foods are before you buy or consume them.
Some of the most common nutritional foods, and the easiest ones to include in your diet, are:
- Fruits - While some fruits are better for you than others, all fresh, dried, canned, and frozen fruits are packed with essential nutrients and antioxidants. However, it is important to be mindful of fruits that aren't fresh, especially canned fruits, because they can contain added sugars and preservatives.
- Vegetables - Much like fruits, it is hard to go wrong if you include plenty of vegetables in your diet. These nutritional foods contain plenty of vitamins and fiber that your body needs.
- Whole grains - It can be easy to slip up when you are eating grains. Enriched breads, cereals, and pastas hold little nutritional value and are often full of empty starches and full of carbohydrates. Be sure to choose whole grains and pastas when you are out shopping!
- Meats - While this is an important part of a balanced diet, meats (especially red) should be consumed in moderation because they are often high in fat. Opt for fish, poultry, and nuts and seeds for your main sources of protein.
If you would like more information about nutritional foods and how you can add them to your diet, consult with your primary care provider and an experienced nutritionist or dietitian. By eating a nutritious and balanced diet with enough exercise, you can easily maintain a healthy weight and live a happier, healthier lifestyle.