A common misconception is that eating healthy has to be difficult -- it doesn't have to be. Eating right doesn't necessarily have to cost a lot or take up all your time if you know which foods excel in ease of use, nutrient density and versatility.
"The trick is to have healthy, easy options on hand when you're grabbing a snack or quick meal," says eDiets Director of Nutrition Services Pamela Ofstein. "Preparation is the key. If you have healthy options, like apples or nuts, you'll get a tasty snack with health benefits, instead of foods high in calories and low in nutrition."
So, instead of eating foods loaded with calories and lacking in nutrients, add these foods to your daily diet to stay full, feel good, lose weight and get healthy.
Oatmeal is a quick and easy breakfast or snack. Oatmeal has protein, carbs and fiber. It's simple to make -- and cheap! -- plus you can add berries or fruit to make it even more nutritious.
Apples are easy to grab and take with you anywhere. An apple is a perfectly portioned serving of fruit, a great source of fiber, inexpensive, loaded with nutrients -- and all you have to do is wash them and they're ready to eat! There's a reason for the old adage: "An apple a day keeps the doctor away."
Yogurt has calcium for our bones, as well as being a good source of carbs and protein. It comes in individual containers, making it easy to take and eat anywhere. Make sure it says "live active cultures" on the container, which have an added benefit for your digestive tract.
Berries are perfect to add to yogurt, oatmeal, cereal or eaten alone. They are delicious, packed with antioxidants and just need a thorough rinsing to be ready to eat.
Spinach is a super food that's loaded with minerals, vitamins A and C, fiber, and antioxidants. You can mix it into a salad or top a sandwich with it for added health benefits.
Beans are a great source of fiber and protein. Eating beans with brown rice makes for a complete low-cost vegetarian protein source.
When water gets boring, it's tea to the rescue. It's loaded with antioxidants, calorie-free and can be enjoyed anywhere. Get it with or without caffeine.
Nuts have heart-healthy monounsaturated fat and vitamin E, and studies have shown nuts help to prevent heart disease and cancer. Grabbing a handful of nuts is a great way to snack on the go.
These foods are great to eat every day, but you can get too much of a good thing. Eat proper portions to make sure you're not getting excess calories. Just because something is healthy doesn't mean it's calorie free.