Think variety when choosing what to eat.
By Helene Konsker M.S., RD, CDN
Carbohydrates were once grouped into two main categories.
- Simple carbohydrates include fruit sugar such as: (fructose), corn or grape sugar (dextrose or glucose), and table sugar (sucrose).
- Complex carbohydrates were thought to be the healthiest to eat, while simple carbohydrates weren’t so great. Well the digestive system handles all carbohydrates much the same way as an energy source; the essential difference is fiber and sugar content which can be derived by a system called Glycemic Index. The Glycemic index aims to classify carbohydrates based on how quickly and how they boost the blood sugar compared to pure glucose.
- 100 % Whole Wheat Bread
- Bulgur, Barley
- Buckwheat Groats
- Whole Wheat Pasta
- Brown Rice
- Wheat Berries
- Flax Seed Breads and Cereals
- Sweet Potatoes
Poor Choices (Keyword white which means lack of nutrients and fiber)
- White Flour
- White Bread
- Refined Sugars
- White Rice
- French Fries
Necessary for growth and repair of body tissue.
- Some of the proteins we eat have all 8 essential amino acids needed to build new proteins. These are called complete proteins. Animal proteins are complete proteins.
- Protein sources that lack one or more “essential” acids are referred to as incomplete. By combining incomplete sources such as beans, soy, nuts and grains our bodies will then convert them into complete sources that can be utilized by the body.
- Skinless Poultry
- Fish (including fatty fish which are high in Omega 3 Salmon, Mackerel, Arctic Char, Sardines, Snapper, Herring, Halibut)
- Lean Meats
- Low Fat Dairy Products
- Pork Tenderloin
Poor Choices (Keyword fried)
- Fast Foods (Big Mac, Whopper, Fried Chicken, Fried Fish)
- Fatty Meats
- Hot Dogs
- Cured cold cuts Bologna, Salami, Pepperoni (high in fat and nitrates)
Maintenance of Skeletal (Bones) structure, Teeth
- Skim Milk
- Skim Milk Plus (Enriched with additional Protein and Calcium)
- Low fat Yogurt
- Low Fat Cheese
- Light Ice Cream
- Whole milk
- Full Fat Cheese
- Whole fat Ice Cream
- Cream Sauces (Alfredo and Ala Vodka)
Fruits and Vegetables
They are loaded with wonderful Vitamins and Minerals. Dark Greens and Brightly Colored fruits and veggies contain Vitamins A, C, E, Folic Acid, B Vitamins, Potassium and lycopene, etc. Studies reveal fruits and vegetables have anti cancer properties, aid in digestion due to the fiber.
Recommended Choices (Try to “experiment” a new fruit or vegetable on a weekly basis.)
- Carrots, Tomatoes
- Brussels Sprouts
- Romaine Lettuce
- Green Beans
- Swiss Chard
- Butternut Squash
- Acorn Squash
- Spaghetti Squash
- Berries (Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries, Blackberries)
- Watermelon…The LIST goes on and on.
Poor Choices (Not too many poor choices in this category)
- Iceberg Lettuce
- Fried Vegetables
Eating healthfully and nutritiously does not have to mean sacrifice. A healthy food plan should consist of wonderful flavorful foods found in each food group.
Do yourself a favor it’s best to avoid white flour, refined sugars, and Saturated fat. You don’t have to deprive yourself, just consume the “bad” choices in small amounts.