Count Nutrients Instead of Calories

Today’s consumers want it all. They want to be physically fit with as little effort as possible, they want to eat healthy, organic foods that are sustainably produced, yet they want the convenience of prepackaged, processed foods and they want it all for a discount store price.

While these demands are on point with today’s trends, the chances of fulfilling all of them aren’t very realistic. Instead, consumers need to focus on the value of healthy living and the rest will fall into place.

Invest in your health

The good news is there is a growing understanding of the connection between being overweight and various health problems and diseases. However, we need to stop searching for the instant fix, as it takes time and effort to undo the damage caused by years of unhealthy eating and a sedentary lifestyle.

Stop counting calories

To have a better chance at reaching our health and fitness goals, we may need to rethink how we view caloric intake. Consumers have long been taught that the easiest way to lose weight is to eat fewer calories and exercise more. While there is some truth to that idea, the problem is that all calories are not created equal.

For example, studies have shown that it takes more energy to burn one calorie of carbs versus one calorie of fat, while it takes even more energy to burn one calorie of protein. This suggests that someone eating a high-protein diet would burn more calories than someone eating the same amount of calories on a diet of mainly carbs and fat.

Start counting nutritional value

Nutritional value is another factor we need to consider when making food choices. Salads are a good example of where many consumers’ good intentions go wrong.

Many people associate eating a salad with attempting to lose weight or eat healthy. While it’s true that some basic salad ingredients have very few calories, they may also have very little nutritional value. To make things worse, some salad eaters unknowingly turn their salads into caloric nightmares by adding ingredients such as fried croutons, heavy cream-based dressings and high-fat cheeses.

The cost of good nutrition

In today’s economy, everyone wants to cut costs wherever possible. However, just because something’s cheaper doesn’t mean it’s a better value. For example, highly processed foods often use cheap ingredients combined with chemicals and other flavorings to make them taste good.

While these foods may be less expensive than buying fresh, organic foods, they lack nutritional value and often contain dangerous levels of sodium and sugar. Choosing fresh whole foods and cooking from scratch at home offers the best nutritional value for the money.

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