To have a variety of food!
The first principle for having a better nutrition is to have a variety of food. This is practically right! When you eat a variety of food, these foods can compensate each other to prove you a full list of nutrients with an adequate amount. You need a good skill in shopping foods. Here are some selection ideas.
Most cereals are similar in serving size and calories but differ in taste, texture, fiber and sugar content. Buy those with at least 5 grams of fiber per serving and less than 12 grams of sugar per serving. In general, the shorter the list of these ingredients the better, as less food additives were added.
Look for 100% whole grains, and look for bread with no more than 100 calories and 150 milligrams of sodium per slice, and at least 3 grams of fiber. White bread does not have much fiber. It is a good idea to read the ingredient list. Whole wheat, oats, or other whole grains should be the first ingredient, as opposed to refined flours. If whole-wheat flour is listed first and followed by other flours, that bread will be lower in fiber.
If you don’t have fresh vegetables, frozen ones can fill the need for greens. However, choose products that contain just vegetables sans sauce. If you like the extra flavor, sprinkle Parmesan cheese on the veggies. One half-cup serving of Birds Eye Broccoli and Cheese Sauce contains 90 calories, 3 grams of saturated fat, and more than 20% of your daily sodium, while the same serving of steamed broccoli with a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese contains 37 calories, 2 grams of fat, and about 5% of your daily sodium.
Pat attention to salt. Even low-calorie items contain more than 30% of your daily sodium intake. Most frozen dinners are going to have more salt than they should have. Look for the ones with the smallest percentage of daily value for sodium. Also, fat and calorie content is an issue with these meals. They can include unsaturated fats from olive oil and salmon but not saturated fat from cream or butter. Also aim for less than 500 calories. And since this is a meal, make sure you have at least 10 grams of protein per serving. You are unlikely to get enough veggies from a frozen dinner, so have a side salad to compensate.
Rice and pasta
Choose rice and pasta that are high in fiber, and preferably pasta that is 100% whole grain. Brown rice doesn’t have as much fiber, but it has more than white rice. Ideally, you want 7 grams of fiber per serving (and 25 to 35 grams daily), but before you dig into a bowl of rigatoni, check the serving size. Pasta expands as you cook it, so an ounce of uncooked pasta has more fiber—and more calories —than an ounce of cooked pasta. If the label doesn’t specify, assume the serving size is for cooked pasta. And with flavored/packaged rice, check for added salt. There’s likely to be a lot—up to 1,000 mg in certain brands.
Almost all salad-dressing serving sizes are two tablespoons, making them easy to compare. Stick to 50 calories or less per serving, and the less sugar the better. Any sugar in salad dressings is added sugar, not long chain carbohydrate. Choose salad dressings that are made of olive oil, like vinaigrettes, rather than mayonnaise, like ranch or Thousand Island. Pay attention to sodium. The more processed foods you eat, the more salt you get.
First is protein content, 10-15 grams of protein is good, but 20 grams is probably too much for a snack bar. Then calories: the total calorie should be less than 200 calories. If the bar contains 300 calories, it becomes meal, not a snack. Then, fat. Limit yourself to about 10 grams of total fat, and no more than 1 gram of saturated fat, but also check where the fat is coming from. Nuts are the best source of fat in a snack bar.
Stay below 20% of your RDA of sodium (about 460 mg for a daily allowance of 2,300 mg, or 300 mg for 1,500 mg). Several companies make low-sodium soups that fall within this range. Calories should be limited to 200 per serving unless the soup constitutes your entire meal, in which case you can reach 400 calories. And check the serving size. A can typically contains two servings, and eating the entire thing could put you over your sodium limit. Protein is a plus, and a soup can make a good snack or partial meal if it has between 5 and 10 grams of protein. If it’s your entire meal, it should have at least 10 grams.
Water and Sports drinks
If you and your family members are actively participate in any sports, you should have a sports drink. Bottle water cannot compensate what was lost for electrolytes in the sweat. If you are sweating heavily and need replenishment, have one that has below 60 calories per serving and make sure you know what the serving size is (bottles often contain two servings). Please don’t use sugared water without electrolytes. Though sports drinks are great while exercising, choose water if you’re simply thirsty on a hot day.
Yogurt can be a way to get low-calorie but high protein and calcium. Pick low-fat varieties, with at least 6 grams of protein. Greek yogurts have more protein per serving than plain yogurt, but full-fat Greek yogurts can contain up to 18 grams of saturated fat. Also check for sugar. Aim for less than 20 grams of sugar per serving. Choose a version that has lower sugar, between 6 and 12 grams, like plain yogurt, then add your own sweet fruits. It is safe to say that yogurt is low in sodium.
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