1. Get intimate with your food. The more you know about the growing, processing, packaging, and ingredients that go into the food you eat, the easier it becomes to make smart, healthy choices when at the grocery store, restaurant or deli counter. Start examining the labels on packaged foods you frequently purchase and better yet, try to cook more! Preparing your own food will ultimately give you the most control over your diet. Shopping local and in-season also brings you closer to the source of your food.
2. Eat whole. Less than 5% of Americans eat the required amount of whole grains per day. Instead of eating refined (mostly wheat) products like breakfast cereals, opt for whole alternatives like whole rye (pumpernickel) bread, slow-cooked oatmeal, and brown rice. And when going for proteins or fruit & veg, reach for the unprocessed alternatives. Usually, the more a food is altered or refined, the less nutrient-dense it becomes.
3. Explore grass-fed alternatives. As ruminants, cows and pigs have evolved to eat grass (or forage) yet due to industrial farming systems, a majority of these animals are raised on diets consisting of grains, soy and other supplements. By choosing sustainable grass-fed sourced meat and milk, you may benefit from higher levels of vitamins and antioxidants in your food as well as healthier types of fats (more omega-3s). Usually, grass-fed choices are also raised without antibiotics, hormones or the use of pesticides.
Pooja Mottl is the creator of Mindfully21.com, a healthy lifestyle advising platform that inspires a contemporary and integrated approach to wellness in America. Based in New York City, Pooja gives individuals the tools and perspective to navigate through the latest food, lifestyle and fitness fads in order to make the best decisions for their daily health. Pooja also writes for the Huffington Post and is NSCA-CPT certified in fitness.
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