This has become increasingly true as the food industry has created highly addictive, nutritionally void and calorie-dense foods. People looking for optimal health and vitality must be highly aware not to fall into the traps that lead to lethargy, chronic illness, and fat gain.
It becomes very easy to over-consume, especially with the habit-forming foods that flood most grocery store shelves, restaurants and advertisements. These foods are non-satiating and are designed to create over-consumption, and with high frequency!
We have all known that feeling: you eat something sweet and sugary, and you keep eating it until the bag is empty. You feel sick and listless and somewhat guilty, then a couple of hours later you are hungry again. This is a frequent cycle for many people, especially in the evenings after dinner.
Working to consistently improve your nutrition is the number one thing you can do to achieve your health & fitness goals. To improve your nutrition, it’s important to identify and understand the foods and nutrients that humans are designed to consume. Proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats that come from natural sources are designed to properly fuel the human body and repair cells and tissue. These natural foods don’t create addictive tendencies and they have fibre and nutrients that trigger our natural leptin hormone response to indicate to our brains that we are full and should stop eating. These types of foods have a high satiety factor and release glucose into the bloodstream at a slow and controlled rate.
You walk down the grocery store aisle and are bombarded with "all natural" and "immunity boosting" claims on boxes, bags, and bottles.
With so many enthusiastic labels shouting out to you, how can you tell which packaged foods are healthy and which ones are nutritional nightmares? Here are some tips.
Limit beverages that have lots of added sugars or salt.
Recognise how much you need to eat so you can control portion size purchases. Find out what you need, get personalised nutrition information based on your age, gender, height, weight, and physical activity level. (Seek Professional Advice)
Include a variety of different coloured, flavoured, and textured vegetables. Most vegetables are a low-calorie source of nutrients.
Skip the sauces, add flavour to your meals with herbs and spices instead of processed sauces.
Avoid pre-packed meals and instead try out healthier recipes that use less solid fat, salt, and sugar. Eat homemade food, more often so you can control what you are eating. If you eat out, check and compare nutrition information. Choose healthier options such as grilled chicken instead of fried chicken.
Any sugar in salad dressings is added sugar, choose salad dressings that are made of olive oil, like vinaigrettes, rather than mayonnaise, like ranch.
Pay attention to sodium. The more processed foods you eat, the more salt you get.
Pay attention to important nutrients to know as well as calories, fats, sodium, and the rest of the Nutrition Facts label.
Avoid busy labels - the more ingredients a product contains the more processed it is.
Your food choices each day affect your health — how you feel today, tomorrow, and in the future.
Stay tuned for next week’s blog. Healthy fats; best sources, importance, what to avoid and much more!
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