Over the last 50 or more years the availability of processed, ready-made, easy and convenient foods, has grown rapidly. Today people take less time preparing food than ever before. Unfortunately this convenience has taken a toll on our health. Processed foods typically have lots of additives – an excess of salt, fat, sugar, food coloring, and/or preservatives – and sometimes have fewer nutrients than foods in their whole, natural form. Thankfully you can choose to shift back to eating more foods in their natural, unprocessed, forms.
– Shop the Perimeter. When you go to the grocery store try to get as much of your food as possible from the perimeter of the store. That is where you will find the fresh vegetables and fruits. It is also where the fresh meat is sold, as well as dairy. Bulk bins are also great to become familiar with. There you can purchase whole grains, nuts, seeds and other similar foods.
– Add Vegetables to Meals. Try to expand how many vegetables you eat, as well as the variety of vegetables in your diet. You can add veggies to breakfast (think spinach and egg scramble), lunch (a side salad with a sandwich or a salad as the main meal), dinner (so many options!) and snacks (i.e. carrots and hummus). Eating more vegetables helps you get more vitamins, minerals, fiber and other important nutrients. In addition, vegetables typically have fewer calories per serving so you can eat more without worrying about over eating.
– Eat Great Grains. Switch to more whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and millet. These whole grains again offer more nutrients than their white counterparts – white rice, pasta, white bread, flour products – which have been stripped of everything but the starch. Whole grains help you stay full longer and give you longer lasting energy because they are digested at a slower rate than white products.