Health Tip — Keep it Real


Lacey LaBorde, Contributor

“Keep it real” in regards to your health means to avoid processed foods and focus on real food.  What is “real” food?

Avoid food products that have more then five ingredients.  Make sure you read the ingredients in the food you are buying. Look at the calories, fat, and how much sugar that is in the item you are buying. Try to stay away from foods that come in bags, boxes, and cans.

Rather than heat up a frozen stir-fry skillet meal, make your own rice and saute a blend of veggies and meat in a pan with a splash of sesame oil and soy sauce.  Or, instead of opening a jar of marinara sauce, use crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper and some herbs simmered in a pan.   Bread is not the best for you, but the better bread comes from a bakery that is made with real ingredients. Try to put more whole-grain foods in your diet. You may think when you go out to eat it is better to order off the kid’s menu because of the smaller portions. That is not the case.   Many of those meals are all pre-made and processed with high levels of salt and sugar–that is not healthy.  You may be shocked, but foods such as crackers, granola, and deli meats are very heavily processed.

Some processed foods are fine to consume, such as milk and juices because of the vitamin D you are receiving. Also, you can get some nutrients from canned fruit, but only eat when fresh fruit is not available. Try turning away from low-fat or fat-free items as well.  Eating processed food in a self-controlling way is fine; you just have to make sure you look for hidden sugars, sodium and fats.

Try making your own food from scratch. Make sure you are eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. You can go to your local grocery store or try a Farmers Market. Switching over is not going to be easy, and may it  take a few weeks to get used to. Keep trying though until you find a routine that best suits you and keeps your eating “real”.


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