It seems everyone is talking these days about how to eat healthy. How do you sort fact from opinion and cut through the confusion?
Myth: You can’t do anything about processed and restaurant foods.
Fact: By joining our #BreakUpWithSalt campaign, you can tell food companies that you want healthier options.
Did you know that 71 percent of the sodium we eat comes from restaurant and commercially processed foods? You can ask for healthier options using our action portal:
- Send an email to Wendy’s, Starbucks, Chili’s and Kellogg’s
- Tell CEOs of Burger King, Nabisco, and Sara Lee
- Write to McDonald's and Pizza Hut
Myth: Only fresh fruits and vegetables are healthy.
Fact: A healthy eating plan can include fresh, frozen, canned and dried produce.
When you buy canned or frozen fruits and vegetables, select options without salty sauces or sugary syrups. Here are some easy ways to use them:
- Toss a bag of plain, frozen stir fry vegetables into a skillet to incorporate veggies into your dinner – like this recipe for Asian-style noodles with pork and vegetables.
- A quick handful of raisins can be a chewy and sweet pick-me-up in the afternoon.
- Feeling fancy? Try this easy recipe for almond snack mix.
Myth: All processed foods are bad for you.
Fact: Most foods you see at the grocery store have been processed in some way.
Processed foods that don’t have a lot of added sugars or sodium can be part of a healthy diet as well as a convenient option. Think: baby carrots, whole grain bread, plain yogurt, or chopped nuts! You can get rid of some of the additives like salt and sugar by draining and rinsing canned fruits and veggies.
Myth: All foods labeled “natural” are good for you.
Fact: When it comes to food packaging, there is no official definition for the term “natural.”
Eat a variety of healthy foods, whether or not they are labeled “natural” or “organic.” Bring out the natural flavors in foods by using healthier cooking methods like:
- Grilling - like this recipe for Grilled Avocado with Strawberry and Honey
- Braising - learn how to braise with this video
- Roasting - try this amazing Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower
- Searing - like this Seared Beef Sirloin with Grilled Peaches with Feta Cheese and Basil
- Sautéing - try this yummy Moroccan Chicken with Brown Rice and Lemon Sautéed Spinach
Myth: If I recognize the ingredients on the label, I know it’s healthy.
Fact: Even if you recognize the ingredients, the food may still have too much sodium, added sugars, and unhealthy fats.
We know that sodium can be really sneaky – and foods that might look healthy or not taste salty can still be full of sodium! To control what is added to your food, prepare it at home. You can add flavor with a variety of options, like herbs and spices, citrus, and vinegar.
Myth: I should avoid the middle aisles of the grocery store.
Fact: There are many foods throughout the grocery store that can be part of a healthy eating pattern.
When you are shopping, be sure to compare food labels and choose nutritious foods with the lowest amounts of sodium, added sugars and unhealthy fats. Be aware of portion and serving sizes and total calories. Focus on making smart choices from all food groups.