Nutrition guidelines can be difficult to follow. Research continues to evolve, and experts end up debating what was previously believed true. Hopefully this will make things a little easier: we’ve combed through trusted sources like the American Heart Association to identify the following simple guidelines.
Nutrition trends and research will continue to grow, but you can be sure these basic heart health principles will remain.
- Fruits and vegetables are naturally occurring sources of vital nutrients, and in their natural state have no added sugars or unhealthy fats.
- Foods that have been altered with saturated fats, trans fats, sodium, high-calorie sweeteners and chemical additives are no replacement for whole and homemade foods.
- Whole grains offer complex carbohydrates that provide needed energy without the risks from simple sugars, and also deliver beneficial forms of soluble and insoluble fiber.
- Omega 3s are undoubtedly essential nutrients for normal body functioning that can only be obtained through foods. Omega 3s may also help in the prevention of disease.
- Healthy fats, like the monounsaturated fats found in olive oil, are better for the body than trans or saturated fats. They are widely believed to bring additional health benefits such as disease prevention.
As you come across new trends and research, fact-checking will serve you well. You can review the footnotes or links on a given article to see if the information comes from a reputable source, like a research institution or medical authority. It’s also good to be wary of biased sources like some food industry groups and health-supplement manufacturers.
When in doubt, stick to the five basic principles for great-tasting ingredients that add health, flavor and color to summer menus and meals year round.