Choosing the right foods to eat can make all the difference in your journey to a healthier you. Whether you’re following a healthful diet or just trying to keep up with your daily calorie allowance, the wrong foods can set you back big time.
Registered dietitians know what they’re talking about, and they’re ready to share their top picks for nutritious foods that you should eat every day. Fortunately, a number of good-for-you foods are also delicious and easy to grab on your way out the door or at the grocery store.
Fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients and a wide range of micronutrients. Adding them to your diet is one of the best ways to increase your intake of important vitamins and minerals that you might not otherwise get from other food sources.
Vegetables are low in calories and high in fiber, which helps keep you feeling full for longer. They’re also a great source of vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin C.
2. Fish and seafood
Fatty fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help you maintain healthy joints, muscles, and heart health. Plus, it’s a good source of protein and zinc.
3. Vegetables and legumes
Adding beans, lentils, and peas to your diet is an excellent way to boost your nutrient intake. Legumes are also an excellent source of fiber, keeping you feeling fuller for longer.
4. Nuts and seeds
Nuts, including almonds, walnuts, and peanuts, provide an excellent source of protein, as well as essential fats and vitamins. They also help decrease hunger and improve satiety, says Teresa Fung, adjunct professor of nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
5. Yogurt and nut butters
When you choose yogurt and nut butters, make sure to look for ones that are not packed with added sugar. Often, these foods are packed with flavorings and other ingredients that add to the calories.
6. Whole grains
When it comes to a healthy diet, whole grain foods are the best. They’re packed with fiber, which helps keep you fuller for longer and prevents overeating. They also provide a dose of protein, which helps balance your blood sugar levels and avoid those dreaded spikes.
Cottage cheese is another food that packs a healthy punch. This cheese is high in protein and low in carbohydrates, making it a great option for those who need to keep their overall carb intake down. It can be blended into smoothies or used as a base for a protein pancake recipe, according to Palinski-Wade.
8. Seeds and nuts
When you eat seeds, you’re also getting an infusion of plant serums and oils that help keep your skin hydrated and nourished. They also contain nutrients that nourish the gut bacteria.
9. Red meat
When you eat red meat, you’re consuming a lot of saturated fat and cholesterol. Eating too much of this fat can lead to a higher risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic health conditions. If you want to avoid these risks, stick to lean cuts of meat.