The foods you eat can significantly affect your health and the way you feel. Protein foods such as meat serve to build a strong body, but certain cuts of meat are healthier to eat than others. Fruits and vegetables offer a healthy variety of vitamins and nutrients, and they supply the body with fiber. Certain packaged foods offer healthy alternatives. To help your body remain strong and resistant to disease, choose only healthy meats and foods to include in your diet.
Beef is a good source of iron and vitamin B12, but only lean beef should be eaten since beef that contains a high amount of saturated fat can lead to heart disease if consumed regularly. Choose round steak and roasts such as arm roasts, eye round, bottom round and round tip. Other lean beef choices are top loin, top sirloin and chuck shoulder. If you want healthy chopped beef, make sure you select a package that indicates it is 90 percent lean or higher. Pork contains iron and vitamin B12 as well and is healthiest if lean. Lean pork choices include pork loin, tenderloin, center loin and ham. Chicken and turkey contain iron and vitamin B12 too. Chicken and turkey are healthy food choices when they are eaten without the skin, and cuts of chicken and turkey without any bones are a healthy choice.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fruits and vegetables contain vitamins, minerals and fiber, which may protect you from certain illnesses. Fruits such as kiwi, strawberries, oranges, grapefruit and pineapple contain vitamin C. Vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach and kale are good sources of vitamin A. Fruits and vegetables that contain a high amount of potassium include beet greens, potatoes, white beans, bananas, cantaloupe and honeydew. Healthy fruits and vegetables that contain a significant amount of fiber include pears, raspberries, blackberries, navy beans, kidney beans and split peas.
Canned and Packaged Foods
Some canned and packaged foods are turned into healthy food alternatives when their fat content is reduced. When purchasing milk, choose fat-free, skim or reduced-fat milk instead of whole milk. Choose fat-free or low-fat ice cream, or frozen yogurt. Other fat-free or low-fat products to look for are cheeses such as cream cheese, Swiss cheese, mozzarella and ricotta. When buying rice, choose brown rice instead of white. Whole wheat or whole grain pasta is healthier than pasta made with white flour. Snacks such as popcorn are a good source of fiber.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Tips to Help You Make Wise Choices From the Meat and Beans Group
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: Why Is It Important to Make Lean or Low-Fat Choices From the Meat and Beans Group?
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Fruit and Vegetable Benefits
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Tips for Healthy Substitutes