Eating healthy isn’t easy.
From the check-out line in the supermarket to the gas station counter, you’re faced with unhealthy choices.
Healthy foods to eat aren’t always easy to find – especially when you need something on-the-go.
The trick is to fill your diet with as many superfoods and weight loss foods as possible.
Here’s how to tweak your diet a bit so you can learn to incorporate the good stuff while kicking bad stuff to the curb.
Are Superfoods Really the Healthiest Foods?
What makes a food “healthy?”
The thing is, different people need different types of calories.
A person who works in a physically demanding job like construction has different dietary needs than someone who works a desk job.
Specific types of fat are certainly unhealthy because they often contain high levels of cholesterol and salt which contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure. But on the other hand, different fats are important for heart health and brain function.
When discussing the nutritional value of superfoods, it’s important to look at what the foods provide.
Many of these healthy foods to eat contain high levels of antioxidants as well as other vitamins and minerals. Sure, eating fruits and vegetables is always healthier than consuming processed chips or baked goods. In that respect, every fruit and veggie is a “super” food.
But superfoods contain higher levels of these nutrients than average choices. Many of these vitamins and antioxidants are difficult to come by in other food sources.
When these foods are combined with other whole foods as part of a balanced diet, they are certainly some of the healthiest foods available.
Weight Loss Foods and Healthy Foods to Eat Every Day
These foods below are chock-full of vitamins, minerals, protein, and antioxidants. If you’re looking for weight loss foods, these are some excellent choices to make.
Pay attention to the food groups in this list: carbs and fats are important for well-rounded health.
Many fermented foods are an excellent source of protein. But the real power lies in their probiotic qualities.
Probiotics are live bacteria (the good kind) that assist gut health and can possibly improve your immune system’s performance. Although not every fermented food contains probiotics, they do often contribute to gut health in other ways.
Fermented foods come in many tastes and forms so you’re sure to find something you like.
Dark Green Veggies
Most dark green veggies contain essential minerals like vitamin A, calcium, iron, vitamin C, and even vitamin K.
If you’re looking for weight loss foods and trying to avoid animal products, green veggies are vital for a balanced diet.
Does the idea of eating greens turn you off? Blend them into a juice with citrus fruits or start out with small portions in a whole grain pasta dish.
- Collard greens
- Mustard greens
- Brussels sprouts
- Swiss chard
As a general rule, if a fruit or veggie has a vibrant or bold color, chances are it’s packed with antioxidants and vitamins – this is almost always the case with berries.
Goji berries and acai often make headlines as “superfoods” and rightfully so. However, other traditional berries are just as powerful in the antioxidant department.
- Goji berries
Nuts are great sources of healthy fats, protein, magnesium, iron, vitamin B-6, and vitamin E. Plus, they’re a great way to satisfy your craving for a salty snack. (Just keep your portions small and avoid varieties with a sugary coating.)
When it comes to the healthiest foods, no diet is complete without a good dose of fat.
You also get some added benefits with these options: olive oil contains antioxidants, coconut oil is antimicrobial, and eggs contain powerful amino acids.
- Olive oil
- Coconut oil
Don’t cut back on your carbs – just change them. Swap out white bread, white rice, and processed food for these heart-healthy whole grain options.
- Veggie-based or whole grain pasta
- Brown rice
- While rice
- Stove-top popcorn (use olive oil and minimal salt)
Making the Most of Your Daily Diet
You shouldn’t take an all-or-nothing approach to your diet.
In fact, the term “diet” often gets twisted around quite a bit. “Diet” simply refers to what you eat – it does not mean sticking to a strict regimen, cutting out entire food groups, and severely limiting caloric intake.
Everyone is on a “diet” if you think about it.
If you give into your cravings one day, don’t beat yourself up: just get back on the horse. No one is perfect.
The key is to fill your diet with healthy foods and superfoods most of the time. Splurging now and then is okay too.