- Consuming nutrient-rich foods accelerates weight loss and lessens the risk of chronic diseases.
- High-quality diets include fresh or minimally processed foods, such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains and healthy fats.
- Low-quality foods made with refined grains and added sugars can lead to weight gain and potential health risks.
- Integrating at least one new nutrient-rich food into your diet weekly can help to transition to a healthier eating pattern.
- Purchasing in-season produce can allow access to high-quality fresh foods at more affordable prices.
Embarking on a journey to shed pounds calls for a reduction in calorie intake, but recent study indicates there’s a need to pay greater attention to the value of these calories. Consuming nutrient-rich foods not only accelerates weight loss but also lessens the risk of chronic diseases.
Nourishing Food Choices
Highly nutritious foods are often those that are fresh or minimally processed. This includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, plant-derived fats, and protein from healthy sources. For the best nutrition, opt for fresh or quickly frozen options. In situations where canned food purchases are inevitable, choose those without added sugar or salt.
The Shortcomings of Low-Quality Foods
On the other end of the spectrum, low-value foods typically include those made with refined grains such as white flour and added sugars. These foods often come in the form of processed and packaged products high in saturated and trans fats. Despite the food industry’s efforts to banish trans fats, deadlines for their complete removal have been repeatedly pushed back.
An intriguing study highlighted the relationship between the consumption of low-grade foods and weight gain. Participants who increased their intake of items like potato chips, sugary drinks, and processed meats – and decreased their consumption of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, nuts, and yogurt – gained nearly a pound a year. If unchecked, this weight gain can eventually lead to obesity.
A Quality Diet and Weight Loss
Another research found that improving the quality of consumed fruits, meats, grains, and dairy had a noticeable impact on weight loss after just 12 weeks.
To facilitate this all-important transition, set a realistic goal of integrating at least one new or different nutrient-rich food into your diet weekly.
Undoubtedly, quality sometimes comes with a higher price tag, especially when it comes to fresh produce. However, buying in-season produce, whether from the local farmers’ market or grocery store, often allows for access to premium quality fresh foods at more affordable prices.
The American Academy of Family Physicians provides valuable insights on making healthier food choices.