The word “diet” can have one of two meanings, depending on your health goals. When some people think of a diet, they think that it means resigning themselves to a menu of celery and rice cakes in order to lose weight. Others think of diet as simply one’s choice of foods over a long period of time — for example, a vegetarian diet is a lifestyle. These two concepts are actually not far from each other, since choosing foods for healthy diet can naturally lead to weight loss as much as it leads to better overall health. Whichever “diet” you’re after, you can do your body a favor by trying to make sure that the foods you pick match at least one of the following criteria.
Selecting foods that are nutrient dense is the easiest way to make sure that you get the most healthful impact from your diet. Nutrient dense vegetables provide the vitamins and minerals that you need to feel good, and most are naturally low in fat. Nutrient density is critical to helping sustain energy and daily activities, and avoiding “empty” calories. Remember that when you choose grains, whole grains contain many more nutrients than processed grains. White flour and white rice have literally had the most nutritious parts removed through processing. Similarly, processed foods tend to be high in calories, sodium, and fat — but very low in nutrients.
Raw food diets, which involve the consumption of either uncooked or only slightly warmed plant-based foods, are becoming increasingly popular. The minimal processing of any fruit, vegetable, grain, or nut, often means that these foods are some of the best healthy diet foods out there. They retain more vitamins and nutrients than processed foods, and therefore, they also lack harmful toxins and unnecessary additives that would normally be added in to restore flavors and textures.
According to the Mayo Clinic, some of the best healthy diet foods are high in fiber. They can reduce your risk of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease while contributing to a healthier digestive tract. Try a few of these fibrous foods to maintain a healthy diet:
- Green Peas
The best healthy diet foods might naturally fall into all three categories! Whole grains, like oatmeal, are naturally fibrous, nutrient dense, and can be enjoyed raw. You should always consult a doctor before making any drastic changes to your diet. However, adopting a healthier diet could be as simple as adding more whole fruits, vegetables, and grains to your meals, while leaving out the more processed foods. The word “diet” might have more than one meaning, but it should never be a euphemism for starving yourself. Choosing nutrient dense, raw, and fibrous foods will help you reach your health goals while still enjoying good food.