“Natural”

“Natural”

This term is not yet regulated or clearly defined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so it has no true meaning.

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Health

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100 Calorie Packs

These pre-portioned packages usually contain little to no nutritional value, and people often eat more than one.

Instead, prepare your own 150 calorie snack by combining almonds and your favorite dried fruit for a good combination of healthy fats, protein, and carbs.

100% Wheat Bread Or Brown Bread

That doesn’t mean they are made of 100% whole grains. All 3 components (endosperm, germ, and bran) of a grain must be present for it to be classified as a whole grain.

Yogurt

It’s made by adding bacteria to milk, which can soothe several gastrointestinal ailments. But highly sweetened yogurts are like candy in a container instead of a valuable dose of dairy.

Opt for Greek yogurt, which is thicker in texture, and also contains double the amount of protein and less sugar than most yogurts.  

Baked Chips

Chips are not the most nutritious option for snack time, but baked versions usually contain less fat than traditional varieties. But, this drop in fat can be offset with increased sodium and sugar.

Bake your own veggie chips at home. 

Granola

Unless you're going on a hike, you are unlikely to need all the concentrated fat and sugar that comes with it.

Instead, opt for cereal with whole grains listed as the first ingredient on the shortest list you can find, and use 5g as your marker: you want less than 5g sugar, but at least 5g of fiber, and no more than 5 grams of fat.

Agave Syrup

A popular sugar alternative and touted as a “healthy sweetener.” it doesn’t cause as great a surge in blood sugar levels as sugar does but it has more calories and shouldn’t be used in unlimited quantities.

“Organic”

Food labeled as “organic” isn’t automatically the healthiest option. While organic foods can be healthful and contain fewer pesticides, organic versions of junk food are still filled with sugar, sodium, and fat. 

Don’t cast aside all other principles of healthy eating when buying organic.

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RELATED IDEAS

Organic junk food is still junk food

From a macronutrient perspective, organic junk foods are often identical to their conventional counterparts. 

They tend to be equally high in sugar and low in protein and fiber, which makes food less satiating and more likely to cause health problems long term.

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IDEAS

Natural

The term is not formally defined by the Food and Drug Administration. But, the government agency doesn't object to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substances.

Natural does not mean organic or healthy. So, always read the ingredient list to really know what's in a food.

When you eat a fruit or vegetable in its whole form, digestion starts with chewing. Smoothies don't involve chewing, as the blender does the chewing for you.

This sometimes results in feeling slightly bloated. To solve it, consider eating a smoothie with a spoon like you would a whole-food meal.

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