Macronutrients—proteins, fats and carbohydrates—make up the types of calories we consume each day through food and drink. These are significant, as the balance of macronutrients also determines key vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that provide energy for activity, as well as the daily stress we place on our minds and bodies.
A recent story from Military.com detailed the various categories of healthy foods. Below is an excerpt from the Military.com story.
The basics of healthy eating are found here: a foundation of fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, meats, seafood, eggs, and milk. The shelf life on most of these real, whole foods is limited, though extended when refrigerated or frozen.
If you can make multiple trips to the market or grocery store (or grow, hunt, fish) each week, you may find eating more of your meals from this category possible. Unfortunately, that is not the case for many Americans, as we tend to make more and more selections from the categories below.
What we add to our foods (even to the healthy options above), such as olive oil, butter, sugar, dressings, salt, and other cooking ingredients and condiments, can add extra healthy or unhealthy nutrients (as well as excess calories) to our food intake. Leaning toward healthier options like olive oil and minimizing sugar, salts, and dressings can be helpful with overconsumption issues many of us have with this category. We Americans get less than 30% of our calories from this category.
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Processed foods are not necessarily unhealthy, but are not as good as the unprocessed, more healthful choices. Adding olive oil, sugar or salt to foods and placing them in bags, boxes, cans or other packaging makes good foods “processed.” Examples include simple bread, cheese, tofu, canned tuna or beans. These foods have been altered, largely to increase shelf life, but still can contain significant nutritional benefits. They offer convenience and can be incorporated into nutritious meals. Often, these processed foods get lumped into the ultra-processed foods category below when discussing the nutritional values of unprocessed versus processed foods.
To read the full story from Military.com about healthy eating, click here.