Eat is one of those words that are hard to define but easy to identify. In everyday language, you could probably say eat to mean eating vegetables or eat a snack. But what exactly does this mean? Eat is the consumption of food, usually to supply energy to an organism for growth and to enable for growth. This food may be food taken directly from the body (human or animal) or food that is partly digested and partially assimilated in the small intestine.
The real food on the other hand is those that you eat in their raw or semi-raw form, such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, meats and whole grains. The term processed food is used to describe foods that are made in a factory and which have had most, if not all, of their nutrients removed. Typical examples of processed food include baked goods, canned and frozen foods, chips, cookies and ice cream. While many people believe that natural, unprocessed foods contain more nutrients, studies have shown that this is not necessarily true.
Most people can’t eat all the different types of foods that are on the list, so they make choices based on which they think will give them the most nutrients. Fruits, for example, contain more sugar than vegetables do and have a relatively short shelf life. Whole grains are rich in fiber and have almost no calories. These two groups make up about seventy percent of the average person’s diet.
But although whole grains and fruits have plenty of nutrition, they are also high in calories. This is why it is important to choose balanced meals rather than eating a bunch of junk food for your morning breakfast. Instead of eating a bagel and some cheese on whole milk, choose a bowl of cereal with low-fat milk, a banana and some low-sugar jam or peanut butter. For breakfast, you could eat a bowl of whole grain toast with a piece of fruit on top, instead of a bagel and eggs. Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to eat boring foods; it means that you can choose foods based on their nutritional value and still enjoy a delicious breakfast.
Add variety to your meals. If you eat only one type of vegetable or only two, you can be sure that you are not getting enough of the other nutrients your body needs. For instance, vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, red pepper, okra, squash, cabbage and carrots are rich in Vitamin C but not enough in potassium, iron or calcium to support your body’s normal rate of clotting. If you eat processed foods like canned vegetables and fruits that are high in sugar or have little nutrient value, try substituting them for fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber.
Make sure to use healthy oils in your cooking. Eating healthy oils help keep your diet low in calories and can help you lose weight. Choose olive oil or canola oil for regular use; eat nuts and seeds for special occasions and use spreads with good fats, such as peanut butter, to spruce up snacks and finger foods. Using low-calorie spreads and low-fat dressings on breads and crackers keeps them from being too oily and increases the palatability of many vegetables.