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4.21.2005

Nutrition Is More Than The Nutrition Facts Box

Most people rarely give a thought to nutrition except when they are on a diet and trying to find foods that are allowed or just reasons why one diet is superior to another. The fact is that most fad diets have little to do with proper nutrition. This is inherent in their practice of cutting out whole food types --which often have a proper place in a
balanced diet.

Most very strict diets rely on cutting something out of your diet. Whether that means that you simply do not eat as much food as you ordinarily would, or it means that you cut out entire food groups entirely, the basic idea is that you are no longer allowed to eat certain foods.

While this might be good as far as nutrition goes if what you're cutting out is junk food, it does cause one major problem. By cutting out a type of food that you're used to
eating a lot of, you're going to have a lot of trouble sticking to the diet. Therefore, you should make sure that you do not pick a diet that's going to feel too restricting
to you.

The most important aspect of food to look at is its overall nutritional value, this is a fact often lost in popular diets. Such diets often focus on only one attribute of a
food as being the primary indicator of how good it is for you. They overlook the bigger picture of a food's overall nutritional content.

For example, many popular fad diets focus on eliminating fat, or sugar, or carbohydrates from the diet. This gives people blinkered vision by looking at only part of the
nutritional picture and leads to bad nutritional decisions.

Take for example someone who is trying to cut out carbohydrates from their diet. This person will choose a diet soda over a fruit juice (in accordance with the principle of avoiding carbohydrates). Certainly, going by the guidelines of this person's diet, this is a good decision -- but it is not the healthy decision. The best course of action in this situation is to drink the fruit juice - the healthier option - and get all the vitamins and minerals it has to offer.

The best way to take care of yourself is to make sure that your chosen meals are nutritious, as often as you can. Try to make sure that you eat a balanced diet, consisting of several different types of food.

When looking for nutritious foods try to avoid prepackaged foods. These foods are often very high in salt and lacking in the vitamins and minerals that their fresh counterparts
are rich in. They are also filled with chemical preservatives, it is always best to avoid these packaged foods and opt instead for fresh foods when at all possible.

If you get into the habit of eating fresh food that you cook yourself you will become much more aware of what you are eating and what is in it. You will be able to ensure you
don't eat too much sodium for example and it will be obvious to you if you are eating too much of one thing or indeed too much of everything.

The best approach to eating in a healthy manner is to look carefully at the ingredients in the food you eat, of course calorie or fat counts are helpful in assessing food, but
nothing will be as benificial in picking the right food for you, as knowing exactly what ingredients are in that food.

Connie Roemer is the Staff Writer of FF Nutrition. This is where you will find all the information, resources and articles you want on nutrition. Connie also invites you to sign up for her free newsletter. To find out more go to: http://www.ffnutrition.com

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