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How you eat matters more than you think

Carefully choosing your food might is one way to eating healthy, but that’s just one part of it. The fruit you got is great but…

Carefully choosing your food might is one way to eating healthy, but that’s just one part of it. The fruit you got is great but a lot of the vitamins and minerals you need might be in the skin or just under it. You peel if off, you miss out. Here’s how to get the best nutrition out of what you stuff into your mouth.

Broccoli: The best thing you can do with your broccoli is steam it. Boiling, microwaving, and stir-frying all break down more vitamin C, chlorophyll, proteins, and other nutrients. And the shorter the cooking time, the more nutrients you save. To add flavour, dress up steamed broccoli with a little olive oil, sea salt, and lemon juice.

Potatoes: Cool it to room temperature or chill it in your potato salad. The cooler they are, they more “resistant starches” they will have. These starches take longer to digest and help keep your gut healthy. They may also lower your chances of obesity, colon cancer, and diabetes.

Eggs: In just around 75 calories, one egg gives you about 6 grams of high-quality protein, all nine of the essential amino acids your body needs, and lots of vitamin D (which is hard to get from food). But all that goodness gets offset when you cook it in fat and add a pile of pancakes dripping in butter and syrup with a side of bacon and hash browns. Try your egg poached with some sauteed spinach, or hard-boiled on whole-grain toast.

Water: There’s nothing wrong with tap water. It has fluoride, which helps keep your teeth strong and prevent tooth decay. Bottled water is chic but may not always have fluoride.

Fruit: You are better off chewing your fruit and drinking water when you are thirsty, especially if you’re already overweight or have diabetes. Even those products that claim 100% lose nutrition during processing. Juice also doesn’t have the fibre that gives you a feeling of fullness and slows the absorption of sugar into your system. Regular sugar spikes from fruit juice can lead to health problems like diabetes, obesity, and liver damage.

Red Meat: Choose lean cut or trim fat off your meat before cooking it. It is a great source of protein but it can also be loaded with saturated fat, which should only make up a small part of your diet.

Coffee. Stick with the basic brew and skip the “double-caramel-frappe-mocha-latte-chino” served in a bucket-sized cup. Your choice should be low calorie, not the sugar-sweetened soft drinks.

Pasta: You probably eat this once a day already. Overcooked pasta gets mushy, has a higher glycemic index—which means your body absorbs it faster.

Slightly springy pasta tastes better and is better for you. Drain it soon after it loses the outer crunch, even if there’s still a trace of darker yellow inside. The type of pasta will affect its cook time. Start testing for doneness before the earliest time recommended on the package.

Tomatoes: The powerful antioxidant lycopene found in tomatoes helps protect against cancer, heart disease, stroke, and other problems. And it’s easier to get from cooked (think canned tomatoes and long-simmered sauces) rather than raw fruits. However you eat them, add a little olive oil: The fat helps your body absorb the phytonutrient.

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