Common Food “Mistakes”

September 02, 2011

What are the most common misconceptions when it comes to eating healthy? Here are a couple tips from one of the top healthy eating specialists in the country

In a recent article inspired by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, the man responsible for the ANDI score at Whole Foods Market, common “mistakes” that boomers make were highlighted. SupermarketGuru believes this is very important to pass on - so here is what was said.

Salad mishaps: salad and leafy greens are one of the healthiest foods you can eat - they keep you full, and are packed with nutrition. The problem many of us make with salads, not just boomers, is that we take our high nutrient, low calorie salad and douse it with high calorie dressing and other toppings. Whether it’s a creamy dressing packed with artificial flavors, sodium and sugar, or too much cheese, croutons, or bacon - topping your salad with these is a big no no. Instead, try healthier options like - corn or peas, carrots, beets, fresh or dried herbs, roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, other seasonal vegetables and fresh or dried fruits and a light sprinkling of cheese. Dressing should consist of healthy sources of fat including seeds, nuts or avocado – and a squeeze of fresh lemon or vinegar. You will never miss the store bought dressing.

Swapping out the red meat for fish or chicken? Well you’re on track because we know that red meat contributes to certain cancers and heart disease – but you may be mistaken if you believe that chicken and fish are healthy alternatives. According to Fuhrman, they aren’t much better - all animal products are deficient in fiber, phytochemicals, and antioxidants. And animal protein, regardless of source, also raises cholesterol. Environmental contaminants, as well as other toxic elements such as mercury are transferred to humans predominantly via the fatty portions of fish, dairy, meat, and poultry- so it’s important to choose your animal proteins wisely – Dr. Fuhrman says that the secret for superior health is to eat more whole plant foods and fewer animal products.

We love olive oil, but it is definitely possible to overdo it. Populations following the Mediterranean style of eating demonstrate reduced rates of death from coronary heart disease and certain cancers, but the benefits can not be attributed to just olive oil, we need to look at their overall dietary patterns - they eat a large amount of unrefined plant foods like vegetables, fruits, nuts, beans, and grains and smaller amounts of meat. Olive oil is 100% fat and 120 calories per tablespoon. There are some beneficial micronutrients that remain in olive oil after it is processed including, some plant sterols. A little goes a long way!

Calcium supplementation, eat your greens instead! We don’t need to supplement to meet our calcium needs - studies actually demonstrate that individuals with the highest consumption of fruit and vegetables have the strongest bones. Green vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds are rich in calcium and other bone-healthy nutrients like magnesium and vitamin K. According to Fuhrman, one four-ounce serving of steamed kale has just as much calcium as one cup of milk; moreover, our bodies absorb over 50 percent of the calcium in green vegetables, compared to only 32 percent of the calcium in milk.

For more tips, view the original article here