Maybe your doctor has told you that you need to start eating healthier foods, but what are healthy foods? We’ll define what are healthy foods, and look at some of the food you should be avoiding.
What Are Healthy Foods
Here at Good Whole Food, we define healthy food as:
A plant or animal product, eaten within moderation, that helps you thrive, providing you with essential nutrients, and has minimal to no risk of having negative effects on any part of your body.
The Access to Healthy Foods Coalition came up with this good definition for what are healthy foods:
Healthy foods are usually fresh or minimally processed foods, naturally dense in nutrients, that when eaten in moderation and in combination with other foods, sustain growth, repair and maintain vital processes, promote longevity, reduce disease, and strengthen and maintain the body and its functions.
With that definition in mind, it’s a lot easier to put foods into a healthy or not-healthy column. But sometimes it can still be tricky. You have fruits like guava, which are high in fibre and vitamin C, but they are also high in sugar. Sugar can have a lot of negative effects on the body, so does that make guava unhealthy? No!
Guava, eaten in moderation, is very healthy for you. It’s when you start to eat too much of this fruit that the sugar levels are going to start having negative side effects.
Not every food that is healthy for one person is going to be healthy for someone else. Almonds are a healthy food loaded with antioxidants. However, if you are allergic or have a sensitivity to almonds then they are obviously not healthy for you. The same thing applies to fruits. Fruits can be a good source of many important vitamins, and can be a healthy choice in moderation for many people. However, if you are diabetic high-sugar fruits are going to have adverse effects on your health, making them an unhealthy option.
Foods To Be Wary Of
Processed Food: All processed food should be questioned. When foods are chemically altered from their natural form you run the risk of making food unhealthy. Additives are often there for flavour, to make the food look tastier, and to preserve shelf life. Additives are rarely there for nutritional benefits. Eating organic, fresh food is a safer option because you have more control of what you are eating. Plus it’s natural! Also, there are many natural and healthy ways to add flavour to your food. The best healthy foods are fresh whole foods, the less processing the better.
High Carbohydrate And Sugar Count: Foods that are high in carbohydrates and sugars can be dangerous to your health. Carbs are one of the main reasons why we get fat. Weight gain adds extra stress on the body and can result in many serious and possibly fatal diseases.
Trans Fats: Not all fats are bad for us, but trans fats are. Trans fats are common in processed foods and are dangerous. Trans fats can lead to many diseases, including coronary heart disease.
A registered dietitian can help you figure out what are healthy foods for you, and help put together a healthy meal plan. Also, check out our Top 10 Healthy Foods list to see some foods you should have in your diet.