The 4 F’s

Find a processed food

I’ve been thinking lately about my nutrition philosophy. If you’ve read this blog for any amount of time, you know in general I follow a “moderation in all things” approach. But what does that mean in everyday life? How do I practice that? As I’ve thought on that recently, I distilled it down to four “F” words: Fat, Flavor, Fiber, and Fresh.

Fat: What fat am I using? Could I substitute a healthier option in this recipe? In general, I like to use canola and olive oil. If I’m melting butter for the fat in a recipe, I’ll often sub in oil, unless I’m concerned about flavor. Often, I cut the fat in half compared to a recipe. When purchasing foods, does the “low fat” option lower the calories as well or just substitute something else for fat?

Flavor: How am I seasoning this dish? Can I substitute the salt for something else? Am I already adding a high salt ingredient – bacon, cheese, soy sauce – and don’t need additional salt? If it is a canned food, is there a low sodium option? There is a whole world of flavors out there besides salt. If you do need salt, see if there is a salty option like those mentioned before that adds salt AND other flavor.

Fiber: Is there a whole grain substitute? Could I add more vegetables? Carrots, celery, onions, and spinach are things I add in all the time to recipes. More veggies, and often my family doesn’t notice or care.

Fresh: When possible, choose the freshest item possible. So fresh, then frozen, then canned for vegetables/fruits. Could I make this frozen side or entree on my own and control the ingredients more? A few years ago, I made all my own bread products. That isn’t feasible for me right now as much. But I try when I can. Not only is making things yourself generally healthier, it is also often less expensive.

Hope these give you some things to think about as you work toward a healthier you in 2020!

What do you think about to keep your meals/snacks healthy? Share in the comments!

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