When it comes to grocery shopping, shelves are littered with thousands of colorful packages. Many of them make the product sound delicious, but there are many nutritional factors to consider before buying food. Herbalife Nutrition has been studying the science behind vitamins and minerals and how they contribute to a sound heart, mind, and body. This experience has led to some general tips you can follow at the store to help you select healthy options.
If you always pick up the same meats, grains, and vegetables, you might be missing out on some vital nutrients. Adding a little variety can make mealtime more interesting and give your body some new vitamins or minerals. To vary your meats, try picking up some fresh seafood once a week. Fish is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which helps heart and brain performance. It’s also a good idea to avoid white bread since it has little to no fiber. Eating whole-grain bread is an easy way to add roughage to your diet. When shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables, think seasonally, so you are always rotating your stock. Visit a farmer’s market and pick up some local produce too.
Opt for Better Versions of Your Old Favorites
Our favorite foods might not always be the best for our waistline or blood pressure, but often, there is a good alternative. For example, white rice is processed, which strips away the fiber, much like white bread. This fiber is easily replaced with brown rice, which packs more insoluble fiber. This type of fiber helps keep your digestive system running smoothly. Brown rice has a slightly different flavor than its white counterpart, and if you don’t care for it, there is a new alternative. Cauliflower rice is precisely as it sounds—manufacturers chop cauliflower heads into rice-sized bits. The vegetable-based rice does not have a strong flavor, and it can be added to stir-fried recipes.
Watch for Sugar
Too much sugar can quietly creep into our diets, so be on the lookout for it. Food labels are easier to read now due to new government regulations. How much sugar you should ingest will depend on whether you have diabetes or other glucose disorders, as well as your general health. To find out exactly how much sugar you are getting, check out the nutritional label. It will break down the carbohydrates into forms of sugar. Some individuals may have to count total carbs, and others may just be concerned with the grams of sugar.
Be Careful of Salt
Eating too many salted foods can lead to bloating, and it might affect your blood pressure. Salt is labeled on packaged goods, but it is called sodium. Just like sugar, you will need to adjust your salt intake to match your health. There are plenty of salt substitutes available, or you can use spices to give your food additional flavor. Make your own salt substitute by mixing equal parts onion, garlic, and paprika powder for a zesty kick.
Healthier To-Go Meals
Herbalife Nutrition understands that people do not always have the time for a home-cooked meal, and eating fast food is typically an unhealthy option. The company’s research lab developed a shake that can take the place of a meal. It is packed with necessary vitamins and nutrients and is a healthy alternative to junk food. It can be used for a quick snack on busy days, or it can take the place of breakfast when you have to head out the door early.