Eating a healthy diet is probably high on most people’s “to do” list. Whether it is to lose weight, prevent one of the many diet related diseases, or just to look and feel better, choosing the right foods to buy, cook, and eat can appear to be a challenge. Too many people start by eliminating a wide variety of foods from their diet that may cause weight loss in the short term. But because their food choices are so limited, their diet quickly becomes “boring”, and soon the best of intentions are forgotten, old eating habits come back, and health problems return. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has encouraged consumers to take advantage of the wide variety of foods found in the marketplace to create a healthy, nutritious, and at the same time, appetizing diet. Variety, colour, and wide availability of their list of healthiest foods makes it easy for consumers to create meals that look and taste good and at the same time are nutritious and health promoting.
It’s no surprise that vegetables and fruits make up the bulk of the list. Even though there is widespread agreement that most people are not eating enough fruits and vegetables on a daily basis, finding new ways of getting to the recommended levels of fruits and vegetables is a challenge. Pulses - black bean, kidney beans, and lentils make the list since they are low in fat and are good sources of fibre and protein
But you don’t have to become a total vegetarian if you stick to the thirty-one healthy foods. Surprisingly, lean meat, salmon and tuna are on the list. Chicken can be particularly healthy to eat, if the skin is removed, and if baked or broiled and not fried.
The good news is that this is a list of foods you should eat because they are good for you, and surprise, surprise you find yogurt - o.k. fat free - along with dark chocolate, and red wine. The main caution here being the amount of these “good” things you should be eating.
Moderation should be a cornerstone of any healthy eating regime. Cooking your own meals is a good way of knowing exactly what you are eating. Of course then “no added salt of sugar” becomes your responsibility.
31 Healthy Foods You Should Be Eating Now
|Black beans||The black bean's fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin B6 and phytonutrient content, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health|
|kale||Kale is low in calorie, high in fiber and has zero fat.|
|salmon||Salmon is an excellent source of vitamin B12, vitamin D, and selenium.|
|walnuts||decreased LDL cholesterol; decreased total cholesterol; increased gamma-tocopherol; increased omega-3 fatty acids in red blood cells (alpha-linolenic acid)|
|pumpkin||The fiber, potassium and vitamin C content in pumpkin all support heart health.|
|apples||The phytonutrients and antioxidants in apples may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.|
|blueberries||The blueberry's fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin B6 and phytonutrient content, coupled with its lack of cholesterol, all support heart health.|
|bananas||Bananas help you reach your weight-loss goals, keep your bowels healthy, provide nutrients that regulate heart rhythm and have vitamin compounds for eye health.|
|broccoli||Amongst all of the commonly consumed cruciferous vegetables, broccoli stands out as the most concentrated source of a premiere antioxidant nutrient—vitamin C|
|spinach||It is a good source of vitamins A, B2, C and K, and also contains magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, calcium and potassium.|
|sweet potatoes||Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A. They are also a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6|
|kidney beans||Kidney beans are an excellent source of molybdenum. They are a very good source of folate, dietary fiber, and copper.|
|lentils||They are a good source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K, but are particularly rich in dietary fiber, lean protein, folate and iron.|
|red beets||Beets are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber, and essential minerals like potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese.|
|eggplant||Eggplant is a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B1, and copper. It is a good source of manganese, vitamin B6, niacin, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.|
|brussel sprouts||They are an excellent source of vitamin C & K and folate, manganese, vitamin B6, dietary fiber, choline, copper, vitamin B1, potassium, phosphorus, and omega-3 fatty acids.|
|tomatoes||Tomatoes contain all four major carotenoids: alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene.|
|whole wheat bread||Breads made with 100 percent whole grain wheat are a good source of bran fiber.|
|quinoa||Quinoa is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat and contains almost twice as much fiber as most other grains.|
|steel cut oatmeal||Oat products like steel cut oats are rich in dietary fiber, with a 1/4-cup serving containing 2 grams of soluble fiber and providing 15% of the recommended daily allowance|
|bulgur||Bulgur is extremely high in fiber and protein plus it is a low glycemic index food.|
|lean meat||Lean meat is a good source of protein with a lower fat content and therefore a lower calorie content|
|flaxseed||Flaxseeds (also called linseeds) are a rich source of micronutrients, dietary fiber, manganese, vitamin B1, and the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, also known as ALA or omega-3|
|chia seed||Chia seeds are packed full of important nutrients - they are an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids|
|almonds||Almonds are high in healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, protein and various important nutrients|
|tuna||Perhaps the most common health benefit that is attributed to tuna fish is its significant impact on heart health.|
|fat free milk||It figures prominently in the DASH diet, which has won the U.S. News & World Report best diet rankings for several years in a row|
|fat free Greek yogurt||Benefits of fat-free Greek yogurt include being free from cholesterol-raising, unhealthy saturated fat and providing probiotics and essential protein, vitamins and minerals|
|dark chocolate||Made from the seed of the cocoa tree, it is one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet.|
|red wine||The alcohol and certain substances in red wine called antioxidants may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and protecting against artery damage.|
|extra virgin olive oil||Olive oil is the cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet — an essential nutritional mainstay for the world’s longest-living cultures|
Alexandra Sifferlin, 31 Healthy Foods You Should Be Eating Now.