Health food shopping can be a daunting task. With thousands of different products available, it is easy to get confused. Luckily, there are a few simple rules that should help guide your choice.
The first rule of thumb is – avoid fats. We all need fat in our diets to survive, but eating too much can increase the risk for heart disease and other health issues. Some of the “good fats” you should consume include mono-unsaturated fats (such as those found in nuts and olives), oleic acid, and stearic acid. Avoid hydrogenated oils, such as vegetable oil, corn oil, and peanut oil. These types of fats are digested too slowly and raise blood cholesterol levels.
Next, you should learn about healthy carbohydrates. You will want to focus on whole foods, as processed or packaged foods contain empty calories that do not provide any nutritional benefit. Whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, and lean proteins are a good place to start. Focus on eating more unprocessed grains such as brown rice, quinoa, couscous, bulgur, and teff. You can also eat more foods such as eggs, chicken, and fish, as they contain essential amino acids and can help you lose weight.
Focus on consuming more healthful fats by including avocados, peanuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and canola oil. For example, instead of eating a hamburger with fatty fries, try eating a burger with some grilled vegetables and a bit of oil on the fries. You can also cook foods in olive oil instead of butter.
Finally, focus on choosing healthy supplements and foods. Many health food stores carry a wide range of herbal supplements that help improve your body’s health and energy level. You can buy supplements to add vitamins and minerals to your diet, or you may opt for completely natural remedies. These remedies include herbals such as alfalfa capsules, garlic pills, black pepper, green tea, and ginseng.
Your best bet for eating healthy, nutrient-rich foods and to lose weight is to focus on eating real foods. Avoid junk food and opt for whole foods, as processed or packaged foods are full of empty calories that do not provide any nutritional benefit. You can eat a variety of foods and experiment with your tastes. If you find that a certain food is not giving you the nutrients that you need, you can always substitute another food that contains the same nutrients at a lower rate.