The term healthy living is becoming a household phrase. With obesity, cancer, and heart-disease on the rise, many Americans are seeking to change their current lifestyle. Recognizing that their food choices are impacting their health, conscious consumers are becoming part of the mainstream. With organic and non-GMO options gaining popularity, many health-conscious consumers are flocking to specialty shops, farmers markets and name brand grocers like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. For those savvy consumers, the Internet has become the dieter’s guide replete with recipes, meal plans, and nutrition advice. So-called nutrition experts and “I-learned-how-to-get-healthy-on-my-own” bloggers use the Internet as a platform to channel their perceived “expert advice” on nutrition. But how does one learn to recognize a healthy online recipe?
Recognizing fact from fiction…
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A RECIPE
Simplicity aside, you should look for recipes containing primarily plant based ingredients, with as much variability as possible without feeling like you’d have to purchase a garden! Recipes heavy in meat, cheeses, carbs and oils are going to dilute your health benefits. Finding recipes that incorporate a plethora of vegetables are a great idea, albeit a little more complicated in preparation. If you are gluten intolerant or looking for optimal health, you might want to look for gluten or wheat free foods as well.
WHY USE ORGANIC?
Organic produce is more than just produce absent of pesticides. Certified and non-certified organic choices are free from pesticides, generally grown in a crop-rotation format, free from polluted irrigation. Organic produce is higher in nutrient and mineral content and free of GMOs. Locally sourced is another great option as it has had less time traveling to your plate.
WHY PLANT BASED?
Plant based food are nourishing and detoxifying without all the added calories, cholesterol, sugar and trans fats. Plant based foods offer us the correct balance of protein, calcium, carbohydrates and fats. So often I get questioned about the lack of proper nutrient ratios in these foods. The fault does not lie within the plant; the fault lies within our dietary choices.
If you have limited time, look for recipes that don’t have a ton of ingredients that can be overwhelming. Also, stick with recipes that have ingredients you know you can find easily and will use up. Many recipes call for exotic ingredients that can be expensive and will just sit in your cupboards or fridge. And when you find one that you like, make sure to bookmark it or print it out and place in a binder so that you can easily find it later.
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