Diet has a big impact on our health and skin, and most brides will prepare for their big day by eating healthy in a bid to look their best.
With false claims and exaggerated statistics left and right, it’s hard to know what to eat and what not to eat these days. The box of Rice Krispies Treats may say “good source of calcium,” but what is this claim relative to? Always read the labels and ingredients on the packaging so you’re aware of what you’re putting into your body.
We know that you want to be looking your best for your wedding day so it really matters what you put in your body. Here are five categories of foods that you should be eating, as well as their not-as-healthy counterparts, which you should avoid.
Eat: 100 Percent Whole Wheat or Whole Grain
Whole wheat left in its original state naturally retains its healthy nutrients. A grain is considered whole when bran, germ and endosperm (all 3 parts of the grain) are still present. The body knows how to absorb these nutrients and use them to grow healthier and stronger. Whole-wheat bread contains bran, germ, and endosperm because it hasn’t been processed. It also contains vitamin E, which acts as a natural preservative.
Don’t Eat: White
The wheat or grain in white bread has been altered from its natural state. Because of the process, it goes through, removing its six outer layers and other important parts of the grain, it loses about 76 per cent of its vitamins and minerals.
Beware of the word “enriched,” as it often confuses consumers: It has no relevance to nutritional value. “Enriched” simply means at the end of the whitening and bleaching process, the manufacturers added a few synthetic nutrients.
Consequently, many of the chemicals in processed white bread are strangers to your body. Additionally, because there are no nutrients or purely natural ingredients to digest, this white carb is quickly converted into sugar, which in turn converts to fat.
Good news, ladies: Dark chocolate is good for you — in moderation, that is. Some women steer clear of this delicious sweet-tooth satisfier because it is not what they are traditionally used to. Dark chocolate actually has antioxidants, which help prevent cancer and other illnesses, and if you can find dark chocolate with 60 per cent cacao or higher, you’re even better off. Cacao is the plant chocolate is made from, so the higher the percentage, the less processed and sugary it will be.
Don’t Eat: Milk or White
Just like white bread, milk and white chocolate are processed and infused with many harmful chemicals. While dark chocolate retains its natural benefits, white and milk chocolate are so far from their original states that there are few healthy nutrients remaining by the time they hit our lips. If you’d like to indulge once in a while, feel free, however, keep in mind you are eating almost all sugar (no nutritional value).
Eat: Organic, Farm-Raised, Cage-Free or Vegetarian-Fed
When it comes to eating animal products, we want to be as safe as possible. Sometimes there are unexpected ingredients in meat or dairy products that our bodies don’t recognize.
To play it safe and healthy, always choose organic eggs from hens that were cage-free (or free-roaming), vegetarian-fed (their natural diet) and farm-raised. This way, you can eat your omelette with confidence that you’re getting all the natural nutrients an egg has to offer, like protein and amino acids.
Don’t Eat: Nonorganic or Processed
If you think about what “processed” means in regard to eggs, you’ll be convinced to go organic. At enormous industrial factories where animals are bred and raised to produce food for us, sometimes the ethics and regulations get fuzzy.
If the hen that laid the eggs you’re about to eat for breakfast had just feasted on cow manure, would you still want the eggs? Add to that inhumane and often cruel treatment of the hens, as well as possible hormone treatments, and you can see why this is not the way to go.
Eat: Organic, All Natural or Vegetarian-Fed
While chicken, beef and other meats are great sources of protein, iron and other important nutrients, you want to be certain that what you’re eating is clean. Make sure to buy organic, all-natural and vegetarian-fed meat.
Many times, the animals’ feed can have things like blood, feathers or manure in it. Let’s just play it safe and make sure it’s vegetarian feed. While the prices of organic products tend to be a bit higher than nonorganic, think about how important your health is to you. Can you put a price tag on it?
Don’t Eat: Nonorganic or Processed
When meat is not organic, there are few regulations when it comes to producing it. We must consider what goes into the animal before we eat it, so if it’s nourished on clean feed, then we can sleep better.
However, if we’re not sure whether the animal we’re eating has been fed food laced with other animal by-products or has been injected with hormones, we might get a little anxious. Make sure your animal products are organic.
Eat: Plain Unflavoured Greek-style
Greek-style yoghurt is high in protein, thick in texture, and free of unnatural flavouring and added sugar. This healthy recipe of ingredients makes for a long-lasting fullness that will prevent you from bingeing later on.
Additionally, unlike artificially flavoured yoghurt which may be lower in calories, it won’t put you on a temporary sugar high only to crash afterwards. Can’t take the plain flavour? Throw in some berries or nuts to add sweetness and a nice crunch.
Don’t Eat: Artificially Flavoured, Unnaturally Low-Calorie
Remember, being healthy and losing weight isn’t all about calories. Always read the ingredients. If you’re going for the low-calorie flavoured yoghurts, keep in mind you’re probably sacrificing the nutritional value of the yoghurt.
These types of yoghurts are so low in calories only because they are filled with artificial ingredients like aspartame or other artificial sweeteners. Additionally, the protein count isn’t high enough to keep you full for a significant amount of time, so you may be tempted to dig into a bag of chips later on. Check out the sugar content and added artificial ingredients and maybe you’ll be heading toward the Greek-style yoghurt after all.