What foods to eat to get the most nutrients? This article will look at a list of simple, nutritious foods. These are the foods that I consume myself, and they have been proven over time by many other people who lead healthy lifestyles. In this list, there are no expensive or hard-to-find foods. Anyone can find them at a local store or order online. The list is as practical a “take-it-and-do-it” as possible today. There will be no extra theory or parsing of formulations, just the necessary minimum of information. I hope you will find it helpful.
What are Nutritious Foods?
Healthy or nutritious foods are those foods that maximally saturate our body with necessary nutrients, macro- and micronutrients, and vitamins. That is, it is the fuel of our body. And we need high-quality power.
Please remember that this tentative list demonstrates the principle of choosing healthy foods. Then everyone decides for himself based on taste preferences and the availability of specific products in the region. Therefore, if I have not mentioned a particular product, it does not mean it is terrible, and you should not eat them.
Next, we will look at foods in the following groups: proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fiber, and more.
Proteins: Best Sources
Regarding availability, quality, and digestibility, egg white protein, comes first. You can buy both pasteurized egg white and regular eggs. Since we are looking at protein products, we are more interested in egg whites. If you buy eggs, try to choose the ones with a higher percentage of white.
Pasteurized egg whites have some excellent points: they’re easy to use, there’s no waste, and you can eat them raw. Yes, pasteurized egg protein is digestible to the body, while natural egg protein is not. Sometimes this is very helpful when there is no time to cook, and you need a quick meal.
Next is chicken breast, also known as white meat, a great source of protein. The body perfectly absorbs this protein, and the breast has almost no fat. Again, it is best to buy skinned fillets. It is both cheaper and healthier.
Lean beef is also a good source of protein. However, it is worth choosing the thin part with the least fat. This product is an excellent addition to the grocery basket for those who like red meat.
Tuna is very rich in the quality protein product. You can find it in different forms: fresh, frozen, and canned. When you buy canned tuna, please take it in its juice, not oil. You don’t need unnecessary fat, and its quality is questionable. The ideal composition of canned tuna is tuna, water, and salt. Also, choose tuna in chunks rather than chopped “salad” tuna. The quality and taste of the whole tuna are better than chopped tuna.
Another source of quality protein is cottage cheese. When choosing cottage cheese, stick to a simple rule: do not buy high-fat (up to 10%) and a good, not cheap brand of the manufacturer. It is with quality cottage cheese that you will get good proteins.
For our goals, it suits fatty types of fish: salmon, herring, and trout. This fish is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are very important for the body. But omega-3 is contained only in fish grown in natural conditions. The usual store grown in artificial conditions has almost no omega-3. So when buying oily fish, try to choose wild fish.
Turkey is similar to chicken in nutritional value. It is white meat with little fat and is an excellent animal protein source. Like chicken, it is better to buy worn parts without skin.
We have a broad enough selection of foods for the body to get and assimilate much-needed protein. There is no point in getting hung up on one product. Instead, alternate them, which is essential both in terms of taste and the variety of amino acid profile of the protein consumed. The more varied the protein components of your diet, the better for your body.
Carbohydrates: Best Sources
Oat flakes without additives – a simple and affordable product with a low glycemic index. It is desirable to buy less processed oats, as they have more nutrients and a lower glycemic index. Oat flakes are easy to prepare, so they are perfect for breakfast – pour boiling water for 5 minutes, and add a little butter and salt.
Dark or Brown, unprocessed rice – never white. White rice has the same glycemic index as sugar. Of the dark ones (red, brown, black, etc.), pick which one you prefer and include it in your diet. White rice is steamed. This process removes the dietary fiber from the rice grain and becomes useless. So choose dark unprocessed rice.
The next food on our list is pasta from durum wheat. Like all other products, we do not recommend buying from the cheapest segment. Even if the packaging says it’s made from durum wheat, it may not be. Look for reliable brands and stick with them.
Conclusions for Carbohydrate
For carbs, the list isn’t that big, but I remind you, this is just a guideline. With an understanding of the principle, you already know how to choose the right product for your diet. Minimal product processing and a low glycemic index are the formulae for determining carbs.
Fats: Best Sources
Fats are essential for our body. We should not be afraid of them. The main thing is to eat the right fats. The critical point is that fat does not make you gain weight. It is much faster to gain extra weight if you use too many carbohydrates. Fats are not so dangerous in this respect. Fats can be divided into two groups: saturated and unsaturated. Saturated fats are primarily of animal origin and different kinds of oils. Unsaturated fats containing unsaturated fatty acids are usually liquid vegetable fats and fish oils.
Flaxseed is an excellent source of unsaturated fats.
Second place for extra virgin olive oil. Also an excellent source of unsaturated fats. Buy quality cold-pressed olive oil.
Sunflower oil and others
There is a wide variety of oils to choose from, and the availability differs in each region. Choose high-quality cold-pressed oils. Please use these oils in their raw state, not for cooking.
The body needs omega-3 fats in large amounts. We get them from natural oils, but not enough. So we recommend that you add to your diet quality Omega-3 supplements.
These are saturated fats. We get them naturally from meat, fish, dairy products, and butter. These sources of saturated fats are sufficient for the body’s needs.
Conclusion on fats
As with proteins and carbohydrates, consume a variety of fats. The combination is valuable so that we will get all kinds of fats the body needs. Most importantly, it should be a quality source of fats: more unsaturated, less saturated, and no refined oils.
Fiber: Best Sources
Separately mention fiber. Fiber is calorie-free for our body and does not give us energy when broken down. Therefore, fiber is a crucial element in the diet. Unfortunately, its deficiency leads to severe problems with the digestive system.
Sources of fiber in foods:
- green beans
- green salads
The more of these you consume, the better.
Additional Uncategorized Foods
And the last thing is foods that do not directly belong to the main diet. Instead, they are supplements for a variety of tastes. They also have valuable nutrients but should not be abused.
Hard cheeses are a source of animal fats and proteins. Therefore, it is advisable to choose hard, aged cheeses. Cheaper soft cheeses have many harmful additives.
Peanut paste is good as a supplement to treat yourself. But don’t overdo it; it’s very calorie-dense. Also a good source of omega-6 and omega-9 acids.
Different types of nuts as a flavoring and an additional source of fats. We recommend not overdoing it with them, as they are very caloric. What kind of nuts to use is up to your taste, preferably in raw form and without salt. The quantity is 20-30 grams per day.
The list of fruits is very short – green apples. They are less caloric and a source of fiber.
We hope our list of valuable products will help you form your diet. It’s a basic set. You can add or remove something from it. But it is not a small list, to begin with, so you can eat a varied and nutritious diet without getting hung up on a single product. Combine, try, and listen to your body. Below is a list of products in the form of a table for convenience. Use it to your advantage.
Table of Foods List
For clarity and ease of use, I have listed the above foods in a chart by category. Keep it and use it.