Your natural wisdom about whole foods is a lot more reliable than you think. If you lose sight of the big picture and start choosing foods by their calorie and fat content (or some other nutrient combination), your judgment about what’s good for you and what isn’t gets blurred. Fat-free snacks and treats start to look just as good for you as apples or carrot sticks; diet soda seems like a much better “deal” than low-fat milk.
Fact is, a low-fat food can look great on paper but not make a positive contribution to your diet. And some foods you have sworn off because of their high fat content (for instance, cheese, avocado, peanut butter) can be good, nutrient-rich choices. The better eating strategy: Focus on whole foods. Eat six or more servings of grains a day (bread, cereal, rice, pasta), two or more servings of fruit, at least three of vegetables, two or three servings of milk products and two of protein-rich meat, fish, eggs, poultry or dried beans. Whenever you can, choose whole, unprocessed foods. And always choose foods you like. Do that, and the grams and milligrams will take care of themselves.
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