It is becoming easier to make conscious and healthy food choices than ever before. Up and down grocery store aisles you see labels that shout “organic” “gluten free” “sugar free” and “low calorie”. But, are these seemingly “healthy” choices truly healthy?
A new poll from the New York Times shows the gap between what Americans consider healthy and what nutritionists say is healthy.
Of the 52 common foods that we asked experts and the public to rate, none had a wider gap than granola bars. More than 70 percent of ordinary Americans we surveyed described it as healthy, but less than a third of nutritional experts did. A similar gap existed for granola, which less than half of nutritionists we surveyed described as healthy.
Several of the foods considered more healthful by everyday Americans than by experts, including frozen yogurt, a SlimFast shake and granola bars, have something in common: They can contain a lot of added sugar. In May, the Food and Drug Administration announced a new template for nutrition labels, and one priority was to clearly distinguish between sugars that naturally occur in food and sugars that are added later to heighten flavors. (You’d be surprised how many foods contain added sugar.) It’s possible nutritionists know this, but the public still does not.
Diet crazes and outdated information about health has also led the public astray. However, it is easier than you would think to eat healthy and maintain a healthy lifestyle. Try this 8 simple steps listed on the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition website:
Make half your plate fruits and vegetables
Make half the grains you eat whole grains
Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk
Choose a variety of lean protein foods: Compare sodium in foods
Drink water instead of sugary drinks
Eat some seafood
Cut back on solid fats
A healthy diet will ultimately make you feel better, have more energy, lessen your cancer risk. For more tips on a healthy lifestyle contact the Wickenburg Community Hospital’s Fitness Center, we would be happy to answer your questions and get you started on a healthier, happier YOU!