For many people, eating healthy foods and meals is extremely important. A healthy diet is a crucial part of an overall healthy, balanced lifestyle, and over the past few years, there has been a serious shift toward focusing on internal health, rather than dieting to try to lose weight or achieve a certain look. However, it is important to do your research and familiarize with research from different nutritionists, doctors, and health experts. By relying on information that you were taught as a child, or by only following the instruction of one doctor, you might be missing out on valuable information. The work you are putting into eating well might be in vain, as your healthy meals might not be as healthy as you thought.
Added Vitamins: Messing with Nature
One of the biggest errors people make in trying to eat healthy foods and meals is only picking food with extra added vitamins and nutrients. Yogurt, milk, juice, breakfast cereal, and other products that are advertised as having extra added Omega 3s, Vitamin C, Calcium, or antioxidants are popular choices among people who want to eat only healthy foods and meals. However, adding a nutrient to an atypical source does not always go over very well. For example, drinking orange juice that has extra added calcium might seem like a great way to achieve your recommended calcium intake; however the calcium that is added to orange juice isn't always the type or strength you need, and orange juice does not make it easy for your body to absorb. Most vitamins and minerals have specific foods or other nutrients that need to be taken with them in order for optimum absorption, so throwing added nutrients into everything usually isn't very effective. It's just messing with nature.
Natural Food for Better Health
If you really want to eat healthy foods and meals, your best bet is to eat natural, unprocessed food. If vitamins and minerals are what you seek, it's best to get them from their natural sources, rather than as supplements tacked on to other processed foods. Vitamins and minerals in their natural forms (in the foods they naturally occur in) are made to be easier to absorb, so they will be more effective and have a better and more positive impact o your body and overall health. Take some time to learn about what combinations of foods are the most powerful and will benefit your body the most, and plan your meals accordingly. Going for vitamins and minerals in their natural state is the best way to ensure that you are absorbing them and that your body is reaping all of the benefits.
Organic Food: Is It?
Another mistake that people make in their pursuit of healthy foods and meals is buying products labeled "organic" without doing any research to prove that that claim is actually true. There aren't heavy legal restrictions on what can be classified as organic, and many brands will use the organic label simply to sell their products, even if they don't quite fit the organic description. You should always do a little research on the brands you are interested in buying to decide if they really are free of chemical pesticides, genetic modification, and other potentially harmful procedures. You might also want to look at the organic regulations in your area to determine just how easy it is for companies to earn that designation for their products.
If you aren't certain that the produce you are buying actually lives up to its organic title, there is a simple solution to ensure that you are getting the wholesome, organic food that you need: grow it yourself! If you have space for a garden, you should take advantage of it and try growing your own vegetables. You'll know where they came from and will feel more comfortable eating them, and will be saving money and trips to the grocery store as well.
Eating healthy foods and meals is a noble goal, but if you are not careful, you can easily be fooled into eating things that aren't the best for your health. With a little research and conscientiousness at the grocery store however, you can be on the right track to healthy eating, healthy living, and the healthiest possible version of yourself.
Written by Wallace Tetreau, a health-food freak who always eats healthy foods and meals.