Diet and health: how to identify a nutritious food
Identifying nutritious foods is easy if you know to look for fresh, naturally-colorful products that are not processed or loaded with sugars and carbohydrates.

Obesity is a major problem for Americans, and eating nutritiously is essential to staying healthy and fit. Next time you go to the supermarket, you should choose nutritious foods for you and your family to enjoy. Here are some tips for identifying a nutritious food:


Bright colors are a clue to finding nutritious foods, as long as the colors are natural – not chemically or dye-induced. Get your nutritious reds from such foods as tomatoes, strawberries, radishes, and red peppers. Your healthy yellows should include squash, lemons, and pineapples. Greens are quite abundant – lettuce, spinach, green peppers, green beans, peas, kiwis, limes, asparagus, broccoli, and granny smith apples. Blueberries, plums, and eggplant can cover some good blues. Orange, obviously can be covered with oranges, as well as peaches, nectarines, carrots and pumpkins. Eating these “color foods” raw is especially healthy, since you won’t heat off any of the nutrients, but you can also incorporate them into your meals. Add veggies to a pasta, beef, or chicken dish. Instead of snacking on pretzels and potato chips, break out some vegetables and onion dip, dill dip, or ranch dip. Fresh fruit and vegetable shakes are another fabulous and tasty way to enjoy your color foods – have one with your breakfast to give yourself a boost at the beginning of the day. Most of your color foods can be located in the same section of the grocery store – the fruit and vegetable section, which is usually on the perimeter of the store. Also, avoid buying any products that are artificially colored, such as cola sodas, candies, and many ice creams.


Low carbohydrate diets are all the rage recently and many people are signing on to try one of these plans out. However, carbohydrates are not the enemy. You do not need to eliminate sugars and carbs from your diet altogether, and many medical experts suggest that that is actually unhealthy. You need some carbohydrates to be healthy – just not too many. Moderation is the key to a healthy diet. Look for nutritious alternatives if you have a sweet tooth. Instead of the cream-filled pastry puffs, get some fat-free sugar-free pudding mix, and top it off with some fat-free sugar-free cool whip. If you are a cereal person, low-carb dieting may seem like a daunting challenge, but there are healthier cereals that you can choose so that your nutrition won’t suffer. Whole grains and oats are easy to identify – and these cereals are good for you. Cereals with sugar and marshmallows are clearly bad. Look for your “natural” cereals, rather than the flashy sugary stuff in the colorful boxes. Have at least one no-carb meal per day. One of the number one carb culprits are drinks -- sodas and other sweet beverages. Drink water or unsweetened iced tea instead of cola.


Processed foods can be found in abundance at your grocery store, and they are a tempting option because they are tasty and they are usually quite easy and quick to prepare. Microwavable dishes are often alluring because of their sheer convenience, but they are processed and incredibly unhealthy. If you cut processed foods out of your diet, you will feel better within a week. Eating natural fresh foods will make you feel energetic and healthy, and it will also boost your mood and improve the appearance of your hair and skin. Rather than frozen chicken dinners that come pre-breaded, purchase fresh chicken breasts from the butcher. Rather than purchasing a frozen broccoli and cheese side dish, steam fresh broccoli over a double boiler on your stovetop, and coat with fresh melted cheddar cheese. It may take a little longer to eat fresh, but it will taste a lot better, and you will be much healthier as a result.