We've all been taught not to judge a book by its cover, but what about a product by its label? It's trickier than you might think. Clashing claims over which foods are truly healthy (and which simply use smart marketing strategies) have made it difficult to trust any one source. That's exactly why it's more important than ever for consumers to educate themselves. Just because a product is touted as "all-natural" doesn't make it so; similarly, items promoted as "fat-free" aren't necessarily healthy (not all fat is bad, after all).
Rather than accept—or simply gloss over—the taglines we're being fed, it's time to be more mindful of what we're putting in our bodies. By learning more about nutrition, we can make healthier choices, from minimizing our processed food intake to eating more whole fruits and vegetables. (Did we mention doing so can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer's, and stroke?Flavonoids--food sources and health benefits. Kozłowska A, Szostak-Wegierek D. Roczniki Państwowego Zakładu Higieny, 2014, Oct.;65(2):0035-7715. The Health Potential of Fruits and Vegetables Phytochemicals: Notable Examples. Rodriguez-Casado A. Critical reviews in food science and nutrition, 2014, Sep.;():1549-7852.) If you're not sure where to begin, we've whipped up a quick list of simple ways to start eating healthier that require minimal effort.