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How To Get The Most Nutritional Value Out Of The Food You Buy

By: Jason Markum

If you’re like me you want to eat healthy. The problem is, sometimes it’s hard to know which foods are best for you. I know I’m not supposed to eat fast food, that’s pretty easy to understand. And I know that processed foods aren’t supposed to be very good for you either, I’m talking about things like frozen pizzas and cookies and chips and TV dinners and things like that.

So what sort of foods should I be eating? And how can I get the most nutrients out of the groceries that I buy? Heck, which groceries should I be buying? These are a few of the questions I will answer in this article today.

First off, if you have a choice, you should buy foods that are whole-grain. If you can’t find whole-grain, at least buy enriched refined foods. Sometimes you have to look around on the package to see if the thing is whole-grain or not, because it’s not always obvious. Even bread is sometimes hard to tell whether or not it’s whole-grain or not. Just because it says wheat or whole wheat, doesn’t mean it’s whole-grain so pay close attention to the ingredients on the package.

The next thing you should do is focus on buying as much fresh fruits and vegetables as possible. If fresh isn’t available, you can get by with frozen fruits and vegetables. Try and stay away from canned fruits and vegetables as they will often by canned in a syrupy mixture that is not very good for you.

As far as fruits and vegetables go, the sooner they were picked (and the fresher they are) the better they are for you. Because of this, I like to shop at the Farmer’s market which has just about the freshest fruits and vegetables that you can hope for. I also find, interestingly enough, that their prices are much much less than the supermarkets. Sometimes the prices are so cheap, I wonder how the farmers make a living at all!

But don’t worry if you can’t get fresh, because frozen produce sometimes is even more healthy than fresh produce because their nutrients are mostly intact when they are frozen. So that’s my rule of thumb, go fresh if possible… but if not aim for frozen instead and stay away from canned altogether.

Next, let’s talk about dairy products. I stay away from them as much as possible. But if you absolutely need dairy products, stick with low-fat as much as possible. And get some that are fortified with vitamins A and D, if you can. As far as milk goes, I’ve largely replaced it with soy milk which is much healthier and tastes great.

As far as getting the most nutrients out of your food there’s a tip… don’t soak your fresh foods very much. I know people get in the habit sometimes of soaking their produce, but you want to stay way from doing that as much as possible.

Another tip is to keep your vegetables whole right until you’re ready to cook them. That is to say, don’t cut them up and stick them back in the fridge for a day. And try not to boil vegetables if you can help it. Steaming them is much healthier and helps to preserve many more nutrients.

So those are my tips on how to get the most nutritional value of the food you buy; I hope you enjoyed them!

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