We’ve all heard the saying, “You are what you eat,” but what if you could be more than that? What if you could be exactly the type of person you want to be, simply by eating differently?
That’s why we created [product name], a website that offers a simple way to find foods with the nutrients you need based on your goals and lifestyle.
Whether you’re looking to lose weight, gain muscle, or just feel good about your body, we can help. Our database of over 9 million foods will give you information on every single nutrient in each food, so that no matter what your goal is, we can point you in the right direction.
Food With Nutrients Chart
food nutrition facts
There is a lot of controversy in nutrition and it often seems like people can’t agree on anything.
But there are a few exceptions to this.
Here are the top 10 nutrition facts that everyone actually agrees on (well, almost everyone…).
To improve the taste of processed foods, producers often add sugar to them. This type of sugar is known as added sugar.
Common types of added sugar include table sugar (sucrose) and syrups, such as high-fructose corn syrup.
Everyone knows that eating too much added sugar is unhealthy.
While some think sugar is a simple matter of “empty” calories, others believe it increases the risk of diseases that kill millions of people each year.
It is definitely true that added sugar contains empty calories. There are no nutrients in it, other than sugar. As a result, basing your diet on products high in added sugar may contribute to nutrient deficiencies.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other risks associated with excessive sugar intake that are now reaching mainstream attention.
Added sugar is being implicated as a leading cause of obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes (1Trusted Source).
The high fructose content of added sugar is often blamed.
This is because fructose is metabolized strictly by the liver. High intake has been linked with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, insulin resistance, elevated triglycerides, abdominal obesity and high cholesterol over time.
However, the role of fructose in disease is controversial and scientists do not fully understand how it works
SUMMARYAdded sugar provides empty calories and is believed to be a leading cause of diseases that kill millions of people each year.
Omega-3 fatty acids are extremely important for the proper functioning of the human body.
For example, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an omega-3 fatty acid derived from animals, makes up about 10–20% of the total fat content in the brain (7Trusted Source).
A low intake of omega-3 is associated with a lower IQ, depression, various mental disorders, heart disease and many other serious diseases (8Trusted Source).
There are three main types of omega-3 fats: alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
ALA comes mostly from plant oils, while the best sources of EPA and DHA are fatty fish, fish oils and certain algal oils. Other good sources of EPA and DHA are grass-fed meat and omega-3 enriched or pastured eggs.
The plant form, ALA, needs to be transformed into DHA or EPA to function correctly in the human body. However, this conversion process is inefficient in humans (9Trusted Source).
Therefore, it is best to eat plenty of foods high in DHA and EPA.
SUMMARYA large part of the population is not getting enough omega-3 fats from their diet. Avoiding a deficiency in these essential fatty acids may help prevent many diseases.
People are all unique. Subtle differences in genetics, body type, physical activity and environment can affect which type of diet you should follow.
Some people do best on a low-carb diet, while others are better off on a vegetarian high-carb diet.
The fact is, what works for one person may not work for the next.
To figure out what you should do, a little experimentation may be needed.
Try a few different things until you find something that you enjoy and think you can stick to. Different strokes for different folks!
SUMMARYThe best diet for you is the one that works for you and you can stick to in the long term.
Trans fats are formed as a side product when vegetable oils are hydrogenated.
Food producers often use hydrogenation to harden vegetable oils for use in products such as margarine.
Because trans fats have been linked with poor health, margarine free of trans fats is becoming increasingly common.
A high intake of trans fats is associated with various chronic diseases, such as abdominal obesity, inflammation and heart disease, to a name a few
I recommend you avoid trans fats as if your life depended on it.
SUMMARYTrans fats form in chemically processed oils and are linked to all sorts of chronic diseases. You should avoid them like the plague.
Vegetables are good for you.
They are rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and an endless variety of trace nutrients that science has just begun to uncover.
In observational studies, eating vegetables is associated with improved health and a lower risk of disease
I recommend that you eat a variety of vegetables each day. They are healthy, fulfilling and add variety to your diet.
SUMMARYVegetables are rich in all sorts of nutrients. Eating vegetables each day is associated with improved health and a lower risk of disease.
Vitamin D is a unique vitamin that actually functions as a hormone in the body.
The skin makes vitamin D when it is exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun. This is how people got most of their daily requirement throughout evolution.
However, a large part of the world is deficient in this critical nutrient today.
In many places, the sun simply isn’t available throughout most of the year.
Even where there is sun, many people tend to stay inside and use sunscreen when they go out. Sunscreen effectively blocks vitamin D generation in the skin.
If you’re deficient in vitamin D, then you’re actually lacking a major hormone in the body. Deficiency is associated with many serious diseases, including diabetes, cancer, osteoporosis and others.
To find out if you are at risk, see a doctor and have your blood levels measured.
Unfortunately, it may be difficult to get enough vitamin D from the diet.
If getting more sun is not an option, taking a vitamin D supplement or a tablespoon of cod liver oil each day is the best way to prevent or reverse a deficiency.
SUMMARYVitamin D is a crucial hormone in the body and many people are deficient in it. Reversing a deficiency can have powerful health benefits.
There are a lot of differing opinions about carbs and fat.
Some think fat is the root of all evil, while others believe carbs are the key players in obesity and other chronic diseases.
But what pretty much everyone agrees on is that refined carbohydrates are not as healthy as unrefined carbohydrates.
Unrefined carbs are basically whole foods that are rich in carbs. These include whole-grain cereals, beans, vegetables and fruits. Refined carbs, on the other hand, are sugar and refined flour.
Whole foods contain numerous beneficial nutrients and antioxidants.
However, when high-carb foods such as grains are processed, the most nutritious parts are stripped off. What is left are massive amounts of easily digestible starch.
Those who base their diets on refined carbs may be lacking in fiber and many other healthy nutrients. As a result, they are at an increased risk of chronic disease (19Trusted Source).
Eating refined carbs will also cause rapid spikes in blood sugar. While high blood sugar levels are unhealthy for all people, they are a much greater concern in people with diabetes (20Trusted Source).
It is clear that whole grains and unrefined carbohydrates are a lot healthier than their refined, processed counterparts.
SUMMARYRefined carbohydrates like processed grains are unhealthy. They are lacking in nutrients and eating them may lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin, which can cause all sorts of problems down the line.
“Nutritionism” is the idea that foods are nothing more than the sum of their individual nutrients.
But it’s also a trap that many nutrition enthusiasts tend to fall into.
Nuts, for example, aren’t just shells loaded with polyunsaturated fat. In the same way, fruits aren’t just watery bags of sugar.
These are real foods with a massive variety of trace nutrients.
The vitamins and minerals, the ones you can also get from a cheap multivitamin, are just a small part of the total amount of nutrients in foods.
Therefore, supplements cannot match the variety of nutrients you get from real foods.
However, many supplements can be beneficial, especially those that contain nutrients that are generally lacking in the diet, like vitamin D.
But no amount of supplements will ever make up for a bad diet. Not a chance.
SUMMARYIt is much more important to eat real, nutritious foods than to count on supplements to provide the nutrients you need.
“Diets” are ineffective. That is a fact.
They may provide short-term results, but as soon as the diet ends and you start eating junk food again, you will gain the weight back. And then some.
This is called yo-yo dieting and is extremely common.
Most people who lose a lot of weight on a diet end up gaining it back whenever they “stop” the diet.
For this reason, the only thing that can give you actual long-term results is to adopt a lifestyle change.
SUMMARYAdopting a healthy lifestyle is the only way to ensure long-term weight loss and a lifetime of improved health.
Processed food is generally not as healthy as whole food.
As the food system has become more industrialized, the health of the population has deteriorated.
During food processing, many of the beneficial nutrients in the food are removed.
Not only do food producers remove healthy nutrients like fiber, but they also add other potentially harmful ingredients like added sugar and trans fats.
Additionally, processed foods are loaded with all sorts of artificial chemicals, some of which have a questionable safety profile.
Basically, processed foods have less of the good stuff and a lot more of the bad stuff.
The most important thing you can do to ensure optimal health is to eat real food. If it looks like it was made in a factory, don’t eat it!
How to Become a Meal-Prep Master — Tips from a Nutritionist
Start slow and don’t rush. Here’s what you need to know about being an expert in meal prepping.
There’s no need to stress about drinking matcha daily if you haven’t mastered the technique of eating and cooking simple.
Other than one-pot wonders, the next step to easy eating is meal planning, or batch cooking. You may have heard of the trend “meal-prep Mondays.” Nowadays everyone — no matter what diet they’re trying — seems to be doing it. The question is: To make your diet work, do you really need to meal prep?
The short answer: Maybe.
But if you want to save yourself hours a week from cooking and running to the grocery store to pick up those last-minute items you forgot, dining out, or skipping meals (to eat only snacks on the go), then the answer is yes. Setting up a system for meal planning may be the solution you need to stay on track.
I first used the concept of meal planning before I knew what it was called. In grad school, I had quite the packed schedule, juggling writing a thesis, classes, and work. I found myself skipping breakfast because I just didn’t “have the time.”
Then one day, I decided to make all the oatmeal I’d need for the week in one day (so five one-serving portions). This simple small step was my catalyst to establishing a routine for healthy eating.
Years later, I’ve kept to meal planning and perfected the how-tos. Here are my top five tips to becoming a meal-prep master. I swear by these strategies to keep myself on track — and they’ve also worked for thousands across the world.
1. Have a set of go-to healthy recipes
These are my top five-ingredient meals that cover breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and even a recipe for on the go. (Side note: Spices like salt, pepper, or olive oil aren’t considered an “ingredient” in these recipes.)
- Breakfast: Matcha Mango Smoothie
- Lunch: Creamy Zucchini Soup
- On the go: Loaded Quinoa Salad
- Dinner: Hearty Vegetable Bowl
- Dessert: Banana Blast Smoothie
Having a set of go-to recipes that you love can make meal planning much easier, especially on the weeks you’re feeling uninspired. The key is to not let the process exhaust you, otherwise it’ll be too easy to fall off the bandwagon!
2. Make a priority grocery shopping list
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to prioritize your trip to the store or farmers market before you even begin meal prepping. This begins with making a grocery shopping list at home. Take stock of what foods and ingredients you already have at home so you don’t waste time and money finding them at the store.
Then, think about what dishes you’d like to eat and if you can mix, match, and maximize the ingredients. For example, meals with quinoa are a great choice: You can make a big batch of quinoa and create meal spin-offs for breakfast (cold cereal), lunch, and dinner!
Lastly, make sure you have enough food containers to store your meals separately. Use glass bento boxes to organize your lunches and dinners. Mason jars are great for storing salad dressings, hummus, pesto, and other sauces or marinades.
Grab a few more containers for storing:
- large batches of soup
- quinoa or other grains
- salad ingredients
Another important tip is to know when grocery shopping
works for you. Where I live, it’s chaos at the grocery store on Sunday
afternoons, so I like to go earlier in the morning when traffic is low and I
can get in and get out.
3. Multitask your cooking and prepping
I’m all for being efficient with my time, and that carries over into cooking as well. (Saving time is a fundamental component I made sure to include in my “Guide to Master Meal Planning.”) Not every meal has to be done one at a time — use your time wisely!
Cook separate ingredients on the stovetop. While those ingredients are boiling or steaming away, chop, toss, and bake veggies, sweet potatoes, granola, and other goodies in the oven. Get all your ingredients ready on the kitchen counter. As your stove and oven is firing away, blend up a storm of hummus, homemade almond milk, or salad dressings.
With that said, sometimes people start meal prepping by doing too many dishes at once, which can be overwhelming and stressful. Until you know the recipe instructions by heart, start slow with one dish for the week. Be selective about the ingredients you want to prep, too.
You also don’t need to prepare all components of a dish at once. Some base ingredients, like rice, quinoa, and pasta, can be batch-made, while fresher ingredients can be cooked later in the week. Or you can save ingredients separately. Choosing not to cook everything at once (so you can build your meal later) could ultimately save you more time.
4. Work up to a full fridge slowly
As I mentioned earlier, you don’t need to meal prep every single dish for the week ahead — just pick one meal you find the most challenging. For example, if it’s difficult to get up early every morning to prepare breakfast, use your time to put together a week’s worth of overnight oats or bake up a batch of whole-grain muffins. Find it hard to make time for lunch? Toss your greens and veggies into individual containers, and prepare some homemade salad dressing that you can drizzle on top when it’s time to eat.
The key is to start small and then work your way to having a fridge full of meal components already prepped so you can get creative on the spot.
5. Assemble your meals later, rather than all at once
Preparing ingredients to assemble meals during the week takes the most time, so I recommend setting aside a couple hours one day a week that works for you to prep and cook meal components, such as quinoa, hard-boiled eggs, and greens for salads, to assemble later on. There’s no freezing required, since you’ll be eating your meals throughout the week.
Meal prep can take less than 3 hours
These days, I have meal prep down to a science and can grocery shop, prep, and cook in under three hours on (most) Saturdays.
Think of meal planning as a key to saving you time and energy to put elsewhere. I still enjoy cooking, just as you might, but I don’t enjoy devoting so much time to one activity every day.
This additional time for myself is probably really the best benefit of meal planning, especially when there are so many other things in life I’d like to give attention to — exercise, chilling out, reading books, and hanging out with friends and family.
Meal Prep: Everyday Breakfast
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McKel Hill, MS, RD, is the founder of Nutrition Stripped, a healthy living website dedicated to optimizing the well-being of women over the globe through recipes, nutrition advice, fitness, and more. Her cookbook, “Nutrition Stripped,” was a national best-seller, and she’s been featured in Fitness Magazine and Women’s Health Magazine.Written by McKel Hill — Updated on August 20, 2020.
Dates are the fruit of the date palm tree, which is grown in many tropical regions of the world. Dates have become quite popular in recent years.
Almost all dates sold in Western countries are dried.
You can tell whether or not dates are dried based on their appearance. A wrinkled skin indicates they are dried, whereas a smooth skin indicates freshness.
Depending on the variety, fresh dates are fairly small in size and range in color from bright red to bright yellow. Medjool and Deglet Noor dates are the most commonly consumed varieties.
Dates are chewy with a sweet flavor. They are also high in some important nutrients and have a variety of advantages and uses.
This article will discuss 8 health benefits of eating dates and how to incorporate them into your diet.
Dates have an excellent nutrition profile.
Since they’re dried, their calorie content is higher than most fresh fruit. The calorie content of dates is similar to that of other dried fruits, such as raisins and figs (1).
Most of the calories in dates come from carbs. The rest are from a very small amount of protein. Despite their calories, dates contain some important vitamins and minerals in addition to a significant amount of fiber.
A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving provides the following nutrients (1):
- Calories: 277
- Carbs: 75 grams
- Fiber: 7 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Potassium: 20% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 14% of the RDI
- Copper: 18% of the RDI
- Manganese: 15% of the RDI
- Iron: 5% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 12% of the RDI
Dates are also high in antioxidants, which may contribute to many of their health benefits (2Trusted Source).
SUMMARYDates contain several vitamins and minerals, in addition to fiber and antioxidants. However, they are high in calories since they are a dried fruit.
Getting enough fiber is important for your overall health.
With almost 7 grams of fiber in a 3.5-ounce serving, including dates in your diet is a great way to increase your fiber intake (1).
Fiber can benefit your digestive health by preventing constipation. It promotes regular bowel movements by contributing to the formation of stool (3Trusted Source).
In one study, 21 people who consumed 7 dates per day for 21 days experienced improvements in stool frequency and had a significant increase in bowel movements compared to when they did not eat dates (4Trusted Source).
Furthermore, the fiber in dates may be beneficial for blood sugar control. Fiber slows digestion and may help prevent blood sugar levels from spiking too high after eating (5Trusted Source).
For this reason, dates have a low glycemic index (GI), which measures how quickly your blood sugar rises after eating a certain food (6Trusted Source).
SUMMARYDates are high in fiber, which may be beneficial for preventing constipation and controlling blood sugar control.
Dates provide various antioxidants that have a number of health benefits to offer, including a reduced risk of several diseases.
Antioxidants protect your cells from free radicals, which are unstable molecules that may cause harmful reactions in your body and lead to disease (7Trusted Source).
Compared to similar types of fruit, such as figs and dried plums, dates appear to have the highest antioxidant content (8Trusted Source).
Here’s an overview of the three most potent antioxidants in dates:
- Flavonoids: Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that may help reduce inflammation and have been studied for their potential to reduce the risk of diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and certain types of cancer
- Carotenoids: Carotenoids are proven to promote heart health and may also reduce the risk of eye-related disorders, such as macular degeneration
- Phenolic acid: Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, phenolic acid may help lower the risk of cancer and heart disease
SUMMARYDates contain several types of antioxidants that may help prevent the development of certain chronic illnesses, such as heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and diabetes.
Eating dates may help improve brain function.
Laboratory studies have found dates to be helpful for lowering inflammatory markers, such as interleukin 6 (IL-6), in the brain. High levels of IL-6 are associated with a higher risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s
Additionally, animal studies have shown dates to be helpful for reducing the activity of amyloid beta proteins, which can form plaques in the brain (13Trusted Source).
When plaques accumulate in the brain, they may disturb communication between brain cells, which can ultimately lead to brain cell death and Alzheimer’s disease (15Trusted Source).
One animal study found that mice fed food mixed with dates had significantly better memory and learning ability, as well as less anxiety-related behaviors, compared to those that did not eat them (16Trusted Source).
The potential brain-boosting properties of dates have been attributed to their content of antioxidants known to reduce inflammation, including flavonoids (13Trusted Source).
However, human studies are needed to confirm the role of dates in brain health.
SUMMARYDates may be helpful for lowering inflammation and preventing plaques from forming in the brain, which is important for preventing Alzheimer’s disease.
Dates have been studied for their potential to promote and ease late-term labor in pregnant women.
Eating these fruits throughout the last few weeks of pregnancy may promote cervical dilation and lower the need for induced labor. They may also be helpful for reducing labor time (17Trusted Source).
In one study, 69 women who consumed 6 dates per day for 4 weeks prior to their due date were 20% more likely to go into labor naturally and were in labor for significantly less time than those who did not eat them (18Trusted Source).
Another study of 154 pregnant women found that those who ate dates were much less likely to be induced compared to those who did not (19Trusted Source).
A third study found similar results in 91 pregnant women who consumed 70–76 grams of dates daily starting the 37th week of pregnancy. They were in active labor for an average of 4 fewer hours than those who did not eat dates (17Trusted Source).
Although eating dates appears to help promote labor and reduce labor duration, more research is needed to confirm these effects.
The role dates may have in pregnancy is likely due to compounds that bind to oxytocin receptors and appear to mimic the effects of oxytocin in the body. Oxytocin is a hormone that causes labor contractions during childbirth
Additionally, dates contain tannins, which are compounds that have been shown to help facilitate contractions. They are also a good source of natural sugar and calories, which are necessary to maintain energy levels during labor (20Trusted Source).
SUMMARYDates may promote and ease natural labor for pregnant women when consumed during the last few weeks of pregnancy.
Dates are a source of fructose, which is a natural type of sugar found in fruit.
For this reason, dates are very sweet and also have a subtle caramel-like taste. They make a great healthy substitute for white sugar in recipes due to the nutrients, fiber and antioxidants that they provide.
The best way to substitute dates for white sugar is to make date paste, as in this recipe. It is made by mixing dates with water in a blender. A rule of thumb is to replace sugar with date paste at a 1:1 ratio.
For example, if the recipe calls for 1 cup of sugar, you’ll replace it with 1 cup of date paste.
It is important to note that although dates are high in fiber and nutrients, they are still fairly high in calories and best consumed in moderation.
SUMMARYDates are a healthy substitute for white sugar in recipes due to their sweet taste, nutrients, fiber and antioxidants.
Dates have been claimed to have a few other health benefits that have not yet been extensively studied.
- Bone health: Dates contain several minerals, including phosphorus, potassium, calcium and magnesium. All of these have been studied for their potential to prevent bone-related conditions like osteoporosis (1, 21Trusted Source).
- Blood sugar control: Dates have the potential to help with blood sugar regulation due to their low glycemic index, fiber and antioxidants. Thus, eating them may benefit diabetes management (2Trusted Source).
Although these potential health benefits are promising, more human studies are needed before conclusions can be made.
SUMMARYDates have been claimed to promote bone health and aid in blood sugar control, but these effects have not been studied sufficiently.
Dates are incredibly versatile and make a delicious snack. They are often paired with other foods, such as almonds, nut butter or soft cheese.
Dates are also very sticky, which makes them useful as a binder in baked goods, such as cookies and bars. You can also combine dates with nuts and seeds to make healthy snack bars or energy balls, as in this recipe.
What’s more, you can use dates to sweeten up sauces, such as salad dressings and marinades, or blend them into smoothies and oatmeal.
It is important to note that dates are high in calories and their sweet taste makes them easy to overeat. For this reason, they are best consumed in moderation.
SUMMARYThere are many different ways to eat dates. They are commonly eaten plain but can also be incorporated into other popular dishes.
Dates are a very healthy fruit to include in your diet.
They are high in several nutrients, fiber and antioxidants, all of which may provide health benefits ranging from improved digestion to a reduced risk of disease.
There are several ways to add dates to your diet. One popular way to eat them is as a natural sweetener in various dishes. They also make a great snack.
It’s easiest to find dates in their dried form, though these are higher in calories than fresh fruit so it is important to eat them in moderation.