Nutrition Is More Than The Nutrition Facts Box
Nutrition usually only comes up when people are finally deciding to diet. By that point, the only purpose of mentioning nutrition is just to find a reason why one particular diet might be better than another. However, most fad diets do not work nearly as well as the originators claim they will, due to the nature of most strict diets.
The majority of weight-loss diets work by banning you from eating certain foods that you would normally eat. Sometimes this means eating less of a food or ingredient, but often it means totally abandoning certain food groups.
Obviously if the food you are cutting out altogether is junk food you will be better off nutritionally. The problem is that when you totally stop eating a food that you are used to eating regularly, you will get cravings for this food.
Right from the start you will have a major temptation to cheat on the diet. Eventually you will probably cheat and render the diet useless. You should therefore opt for diets that don't restrict you as severely as this.
Most diets tend to focus on one attribute of food as being a problem (such as carbohydrates, or fat). A better approach is to look at the overall nutritional value of the food.
For example, many popular fad diets focus on eliminating fat, or sugar, or carbohydrates from the diet. This gives people blinkered vision by looking at only part of the nutritional picture and leads to bad nutritional decisions.
Say you are on a diet which aims to avoid carbohydrates. You have to decide between a diet soda (which is bad for you in almost all respects but contains very few carbs) and a fruit juice drink (which is very good for you but is high in carbs). The diet would have you disregard your general health and go for the diet soda. The best choice is, of course, the fruit juice which is rich in minerals and vitamins and is much better for you.
The best way to take care of yourself is to make sure that your chosen meals are nutritious, as often as you can. Try to make sure that you eat a balanced diet, consisting of several different types of food.
When choosing food for its nutritional value it is best to avoid packaged meals and food. This food is packed full of chemicals and retains few of the minerals and vitamins present in fresh food. Pre-packaged food will also tend to have an unhealthy amount of salt in it.
If you get into the habit of eating fresh food that you cook yourself you will become much more aware of what you are eating and what is in it. You will be able to ensure you don't eat too much sodium for example and it will be obvious to you if you are eating too much of one thing or indeed too much of everything.
The most important thing to remember about nutrition is that in order to be healthy, you have to look closer at the ingredients in the food you eat. While different statistics like calories, grams of fat, and grams of sugar are good indicators, the ingredients list is key to figuring out whether or not you should eat that particular food.
Connie Roemer is the Staff Writer of
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