Charleston, S.C. (WCBD)- Dr. Ann, a nutrition wellness expert says the pathway to nutritional excellence is extremely broad and works with a variety of dietary lifestyles.
To ensure you’re eating a healthy diet, there are two boxes that need to be checked off:
80 to 85 percent of what you’re eating should come from plant-based foods. This includes fruits, vegetables, beans, whole grains, nuts, and seeds.
You need to eat whole real foods and avoid eating excessive amounts of fine white carbs.
She says, “The great thing about focusing on eating more good foods is that it naturally shoves out the bad foods”.
And guess what—the days of counting calories are over! Dr. Ann says the practice of counting calories is a lesson in futility for multiple reasons.
It’s impossible for you to know just how many you’re burning in a day.
What you believe to be one calorie may not be one calorie.
She explains, “The way 100 calories of white bread impacts your appetite and metabolism is totally different from how 100 calories of nuts impacts your metabolism and appetite so forget counting calories”.
Instead, try substituting foods you typically eat for foods with more nutritional value. A few examples include:
Spreadable fruit instead of jelly
Greek yogurt instead of sour cream
Ground turkey instead of ground beef
Pureed prunes for oils when baking
Cauliflower rice instead of white rice
You can also add plant-based foods to your dish to increase the nutritional value, “Vegetables are at the top, then beans, then fruits, then 100 percent whole grains. Just be looking for opportunities to amp up your meals with any of those foods”.
And when it comes to your children? Send them to school with foods that will fuel them throughout the day.
Dr. Ann has three rules for making a healthy lunch:
- Include a healthy protein. This could be a lean deli meat, tuna salad, egg salad, roast beef, or hummus.
- Include 2 servings of a healthy carb and make sure one serving is a fruit or vegetables.
- Pack a calcium rich food. This could be yogurt, cheese, milk or another diary product.
The impact of what a child eats will largely affect their mental, emotional, and cognitive health, so Dr. Ann says it’s crucial to give them access to healthy foods at a young age.
For more ideas on how to pack a healthy lunch, click here.