Nutrition Facts for a Healthier You

Nutrition Facts
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Nutrition Facts

If you’re like us, being the happiest, healthiest human you can be is the ultimate goal. And one of the keys to achieving that goal is understanding nutrition facts.

No, we don’t mean simply reading the “nutrition facts” on food packaging (although you definitely should do that!). We mean understanding the nutrition facts that will support your lifestyle and keep your body strong and healthy.

But there is so much information floating around that it can be hard to tell fact from fiction!

Why complicate things when there is a clear set of science-backed, capital “F,” FACTS that you can apply to your daily life?

Luckily, we’ve pulled together a list of our favorite nutrition facts to help you more fully embrace a healthier way of being!

Here are 7 nutrition facts that make eating more fun and better-for-you!

 

Rethink These 7 Nutrition Facts for a Fun, Healthier Lifestyle

 

1) Eating Fat Doesn’t Make You “Fat”

The ’80s were more than just neon and big hair. They were also the height of the low-fat food craze! It was believed that eating fat caused obesity.

The good news is that dietary fat does not make you obese. The bad news is that this myth persists and people don’t quite understand the nutrition facts around consuming fat.

Some fats are absolutely essential to a healthy brain and body. Others are quite dangerous. Clear as mud, right? No wonder the myth survives!

Let’s break it down for you!

Some fats are healthy!

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to a healthy brain and body. And, we can only get them from our diets or through supplementation. Omega-3s are not produced within our bodies.

Omega-3s have been shown to:

  • Promote heart health
  • Manage lupus, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis
  • Reduce the risk of strokes
  • Protect against certain cancers
  • Promote eye health
  • Support cellular health
  • Promote fetal health

These fatty acids have been linked to many other health benefits but further study is needed before any real conclusions can be made.

The scientific community is comfortable concluding that these fats are an important part of healthier eating and should not be excluded from your diet!

You can find omega-3s in:

  • Fish and fish oils (salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring, and sardines)
  • Nuts and seeds (flaxseed, chia seeds, and walnuts)
  • Plant oils (flaxseed oil, soybean oil, and canola oil)
  • Fortified foods (some brands of eggs, yogurt, juices, milk, and soy beverages)

Some fats should be nixed!

We can’t talk about nutrition facts and dietary fat, without also mentioning trans fats. Trans fats, unlike omegas, should be avoided.

Trans fats come from two types of food sources. Foods from ruminant animals like cows, goats, and sheep and from a food manufacturing process called hydrogenation.

It’s unclear whether naturally occurring trans fats are harmful but the verdict is in for artificial trans fats: they are dangerous!

Hydrogenation adds hydrogen to vegetable fats, creating one of two types of trans fat: hydrogenated oils or partially hydrogenated oils. This process turns fat from a liquid state at room temperature to a solid-state. These oils are used to extend the shelf life of manufactured food products.

While hydrogenated oils are not trans fats, partially hydrogenated oils are. Partially hydrogenated oils can be found in:

  • Pre-packaged baked goods (cakes, cookies, and pies)
  • Shortening
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Frozen pizza
  • Refrigerated dough (biscuits and rolls)
  • Fried foods (french fries, doughnuts, and fried chicken)
  • Nondairy coffee creamer
  • Margarine

Trans fats, or trans-fatty acids, are so harmful that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) mandated that after June 2018, manufacturers are no longer allowed to put trans fats in their products.

Consuming added trans fats may:

  • Increase risk for heart attack, stroke, and type 2 diabetes
  • Increase low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol
  • Reduce high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, or “good,” cholesterol

To avoid these trans fats, keep an eye out for “partially hydrogenated vegetable oil” when reading the nutrition facts and ingredients on food labels.

 

2) There Is More Than One Way to Eat Healthier

This nutrition fact can set you free! The best healthy diet is the one that works for you.

There’s no need to get down if the latest low-carb diet fad works for your bestie but leaves you feeling out of sorts.

Differences in body type, genetics, activity level, and the environment can influence what does and does not work for you.

When you see something working for someone else, or you see claims being made in the media, it is natural to want to try it for yourself. But these diet plans may not be what is best for your body.

Unless you have been told by a medical professional to follow a specific diet, finding a healthier way to eat may take some trial and error.

Start slowly and simply, making small changes. See how you feel. Feel great, keep going. Feel lousy, reconsider. Remember, the best healthy diet for you is the one that you will stick to.

Sure, there are some basic nutrition facts and some nutrients that we absolutely need to pay attention to, but there is no wrong way to be truly healthy.

 

3) Vegetables Should Be a Staple of Your Diet

Your mama was right! You need to eat your vegetables! When it comes to nutrition facts, you aren’t going to find any simpler!

Vegetables (and fruit!) are chock full of vital nutrients and antioxidants, are generally low in calories and fat, and are full of fiber.

This is not to say that you need to give up meat or stop being a flexitarian — sometimes eating meat, sometimes not, but you should be aiming to make at least half of each meal a plant-based food.

Be creative! This nutrition fact is just a base. What you do with that base is up to you! Vegetables and fruits come in all colors of the rainbow and with the right choices, you could have a healthy AND Insta-worthy meal on your hands.

Raw veggies can fit perfectly into your snack routine but if you want to mix things up, or need a quick and easy option, reach for brands like Harvest Snaps! Vegetables are ALWAYS the number one ingredient in our Snack Crisps and Crunchions. And because our kitchen is a no-fry zone, you can be sure you are getting nothing but wholesome baked goodness with every handful!

With over a dozen flavors to choose from, there’s something for every snack style!

 

Healthier Snacks

4) Calories and Carbs Aren’t Necessarily the Enemy

When it comes to nutrition, not all calories are created equal.

Many of us grew up thinking that to be healthy, we had to meticulously count and track our calorie intake and avoid carbs with every ounce of willpower in our bodies. But the basic nutrition fact is this: we need calories and carbs in our lives.

There are times, like when we are out for a hike or experiencing some other type of physical exertion when calories and carbs (and protein!), can fuel our bodies and help us keep our faculties!

When it comes to calories and carbs, you need to think about where they come from. For example, avocados are high in calories but they are also an excellent source of healthy fat, fiber, and other important nutrients like magnesium, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin E, and folate. The roughly 300 calories and 17 grams of carbs you’ll get from a whole avocado are far better for you than the 300 calories you’ll get from a chocolate bar.

It is important to not go overboard consuming calories and carbs but it is equally important not to restrict yourself to the point of added stress and grief. If you have been told by a medical professional to restrict these items, take that direction, but for the rest of us, it is just about making healthier choices.

Carbohydrates are your body’s primary source of energy, and fiber (which is a carb), may protect against obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Not all carbohydrates are good for us, though. Avoid refined sugars and processed carbohydrates. Focus on eating:

  • Whole grains
  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Legumes like lentils, beans, and peas

When it comes to calories and carbohydrates, quality matters!

 

5) Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

And then hydrate some more. Water is a non-negotiable part of a healthy lifestyle. The shocking nutrition fact when it comes to water is that the majority of us are not drinking anywhere near enough!

Nearly every part of the human body requires water to function. Water is used by the body to:

  • Regulate temperature
  • Lubricate and cushion joints
  • Eliminate waste
  • Protect sensitive tissues

The average woman requires 91 ounces of water a day. The average man requires 125 ounces. Frankly, that’s more than most of us consume.

The good news is that these amounts also include water we get through the food we eat. Foods like watermelon and spinach are mostly water. One more reason to eat more fruits and vegetables!

You can count other beverages, like milk, herbal teas, juices, and even coffee, towards your daily water intake. But, try as much as possible to drink straight-up water. If you need help, adding some fruit can help. Lemon, lime, even raspberries, can make things a little more flavorful! Feeling fancy? Add some cucumber slices and sprigs of mint. Tasty and beautiful!

Try to avoid drinks sweetened with added sugars. This means some fruit juices and most regular sodas. If you are hooked on these beverages, start slowly by replacing one each day with a nice big glass of water.

Trust us, the more hydrated you are, the better you will feel!

 

6) “Low Fat” and “Healthy” Aren’t Always the Same Thing

Marshmallows are low-fat but they aren’t exactly healthy, right? As mentioned above, fat is a very important nutrient in our diets. Fat, along with carbohydrates and protein, are known as macronutrients. Macronutrients are nutrients our bodies need in larger quantities in order to function at their best.

Many, not all, low fat and fat-free foods are highly processed or have added sugars and chemical ingredients to make up for the missing fat. At the very least, this can mean added calories.

So while you may have your reasons for reaching for that low-fat yogurt or a package of low-fat cookies, be sure to read the nutrition facts listed on the packaging. This will allow you to understand what you are eating and keep things balanced by staying within the serving sizes.

 

Low Fat Snacks

7) Snacking Can Make a Difference

When people are thinking about healthier eating, they sometimes think that snacking is part of the problem.

But snacking is great! Filling your day with healthier snacks can boost your mood and keep energy levels high! We’ve all fallen victim to a midday slump or a sugar crash. Choosing the right snacks smooths out these peaks and valleys.

Avoid snacks with lots of refined sugars. Remember what we said about quality calories?

Snack on things like fruit, nuts and seeds, whole-grain crackers and cheese, full-fat yogurt, and chopped veggies.

Some hummus and our Lightly Salted Snack Crisps, for example, will provide you with the fiber and protein you need to satisfy your hunger and taste cravings.

Snacking is one of life’s simple pleasures so do not be afraid to get creative and do what will make you feel happy! There are so many wonderful healthier snacks out that taste decadent, sweet, spicy, or salty. Whatever you crave, you can find a healthier option!

 

Food Can Be FUN and Better-for-you!

The nutrition facts that we have laid out above can provide the foundation you need to live your best, healthiest life.

The best part? They’re easy to apply. Feeling happy and healthy doesn’t have to mean complicated eating. Sometimes all it takes is cutting through the noise to know what’s fact and what is fiction.

And Harvest Snaps is here to support you every step of the way! Our fresh, deliciously green, snappy snack options can keep you on the right track.

Made from green peas, red lentils, or black beans, our Snack Crisps provide the crunch you crave and the fresh flavors you deserve! You work hard to stay eating healthier—with Harvest Snaps you can AND enjoy it a little!

Munch on classic flavors like Lightly Salted, or let your taste buds sing with Caesar, Tomato Basil, Wasabi Ranch, Parmesan Roasted Garlic, Mango Chile Lime, or Black Pepper!

Need some extra fun in your snacking? Crunchions to the rescue! These delightful ring-shaped snacks come in scrumptious flavors like Kick’n BBQ, Sour Cream & Onion, and Tangy Sweet Chili! Red lentils never tasted so good!

With better ingredients and bold, fresh flavor, you can treat yourself with Harvest Snaps and stay true to the above nutrition facts!

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