by Marion Peters

Anyone who is training hard, whether as an athlete or a member of the general public who wants to become healthier, can make use of nutrition data. The information which is on food labels, or is available from other sources, can help anyone make more informed choices about how to refuel their body. If the numbers do not seem to add up, then using commons sense can be an effective complement to more specific data.

Anyone who is looking to take basic steps to improve the health of their diet should begin to cut processed and pre-packaged foods out. These kinds of products often have a lengthy list of chemicals as their ingredients, making it hard to tell what kind of food they actually consist of, in many cases. Avoid products with long lists of chemicals on their labels, as they are also likely to contain more sugar.

When changing a diet to make it healthier, sugar, especially processed, refined sugar, should be one of the first things to be cut. Until recent times, fat was generally perceived as being the main enemy of a healthy body, and many products made a great play out of being low fat. In actual fact, many fats, such as those in eggs, olive oil and some diary products, can be very good for the body.

Finding a healthy protein source is essential for a good diet, and white meat, such as chicken, and fish can play an important role in providing protein. Red meat contains more saturated, or unhealthy, fat than meats which are classified as white. It also contains more cholesterol, and has been identified as a cause of digestive illness and heart conditions.

It is also wise to avoid fried food, especially food which has been fried in generic vegetable or corn oil. If you need to fry foods, do so gently in olive oil. Olive oil is also an excellent choice to dress foods such as salads, as it is nutritious and can help the body to burn unhealthy fats.

In general terms, if food can be killed or grows in the ground, then it is wise to eat it. Eating as naturally as possible eliminates many of the problems which can arise from eating processed food. Analysing data on labels can only get you so far when it comes to choosing what is healthy to eat.

Always take nutrition data into account when choosing which foods to eat. Any analysis needs to be accompanied by common sense too. In general terms, aim for natural foods and you cannot go wrong.

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