Making Better Food Choices:
While there are no superfoods that contain every single nutrient needed for good health, some foods pack more nutrients per calorie than others. By choosing nutrient-dense foods, the overall quality of your diet will improve practically overnight. For the most part, that means eating whole grains, fruits, and vegetables at every meal. Here are some tips to get you started.
Add dark leafy greens to salads. Dark leafy greens contain more nutrients than iceberg lettuce. Spinach, kale, and romaine lettuce, for example, contain everything from iron to folate to fiber. Iceberg lettuce, on the other hand, is mostly water. A good rule of thumb: The darker the green, the more nutrients a leafy vegetable contains.
Sprinkle wheat germ on cereals, casseroles, or yogurt. Adding 2 tablespoons of wheat germ boosts the fiber nearly 2 grams but adds only 51 calories. Use the toasted variety for a nuttier flavor.
Serve a whole grain as a side dish instead of potatoes. White potatoes and grains like bulgur and wheat berries are considered starchy side dishes. But the potatoes have nowhere near as much fiber and are not as nutrient-dense as whole grains. In addition, the body quickly turns the starch in white potatoes into sugar, causing a quick spike in blood sugar and insulin. Whole grains are digested more slowly, causing a lower and more even rise in blood sugar.
Snack on whole-grain crackers rather than those made with processed flour. Wholegrain crackers such as Triscuit or Ak-mak contain more fiber than those made with refined flour. That fiber can add up if you’re a regular snacker. Even better, think of nuts as an alternative. They are probably the healthiest hunger-blunting snack you could have.
Try the “three pleasures” for dessert instead of ice cream or cake. Instead of a traditional calorie-laden dessert, create one from three of the healthiest foods you can eat: fruit, nuts, and dark chocolate.