In the quest for healthy food choices, finding up-to-date, accurate, reliable food and nutrition resources is critical. In this post, we will help you understand why food choices matter. Then we will take a look at some resources designed to make food choices a little easier.
Why are Food Choices Integral to the Food Experience?
Healthy food choices set the scene for the food experience. This includes food quality and meal planning. You have control over what ingredients you are using. There is a basis of teaching and learning. That’s why they are integral to the food experience. You begin with the desire to make healthy food choices. That in turn leads to finding the resources you need to make healthy food choices. Which leads to developing your culinary skills to be able to make a meal. Which then leads to evaluating what happened and setting goals for yourself.
A positive food experience is a proactive effort where you are clearly involved in the food process. Make the time to research healthy food guidelines. Find out what foods offer the nutrition you need.
You are in control of what foods and ingredients you eat. You can also have better social and emotional health because of the bonding and relationships that develop from the food experience. Several factors work together to help you have positive food experiences. Those experiences can then be healthier, more memorable, and worth repeating.
Without healthy food choices, you are not getting the fullness of the food experience. You are limiting yourself. Seeking out and using quality food and nutrition resources is one key to making healthy food choices for a positive food experience.
Our Search for Food and Nutrition Resources
Where can you turn to for reliable, up-to-date information on food and nutrition? How can you sort out information that makes sense and will help you make better food choices?
To answer those questions, we searched websites, research studies, and a variety of food information sources. We looked for resources offering current, reliable information presented in layman’s terms. We looked for resources that both presented the information itself, and also offered examples to illustrate food terms and concepts.
As a disclaimer, we are NOT being compensated in any way to mention the resources listed below. We are doing this as a service to our readers.
So what constitutes “the top” in our search for the top resources?
1. They are reliable resources from:
governmental entities focused on nutrition
professional food and nutrition organizations
organizations centered on food and health.
2. The resources are not promotional in nature.
3. They provide unbiased information based on research
4. The resources do not tout specific products or services as being superior.
Essentially, these resources provide straightforward information so that you can make better food decisions.
Top 6 Food and Nutrition Resources for a Positive Food Experience
Without further ado, let’s take a look at these resources and how to incorporate these or others into our food research routine.
The Food and Nutrition Information Center resides within the USDA National Agricultural Library. The website is home to thousands of pieces of nutrition information. One of the unique features of the website is the USDA Food Composition Database. There you can access information on over 200,000 different foods for nutritional, caloric, and other information.
There is also a section on how to evaluate health information you find on the web. This section may help you go to reliable sources for unbiased nutrition information in order to make better food decisions.
2. Health.gov and Healthfinder.gov
Both websites are managed through the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Both websites provides food information on such topics as healthy eating, weight management, nutrition guidelines, and food labeling. They also provide daily tips and suggestions about managing different aspects of your diet such as calorie management, and lowering sodium and sugar levels.
Health.gov is more information-based, whereas Healthfinder.gov has interactive tools and technology for more personalized recommendations.
The American Heart Association’s new promotional, Healthy for Good, is chock full of resources for everyone from 0-101 and beyond. The website has information on nutrition basics, grocery shopping, eating out, and cooking in. They even have a section on promoting healthy food in the workplace.
The section on children’s health not only focuses on weight management, but also on helping children learn to cook healthy meals as well as getting them involved in grocery shopping, gardening, and other food related activities.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, according to their website, is “the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals.” With over 100,000 credentialed practitioners within the food and dietary industries, the Academy is dedicated to helping people make better food choices.
Their website includes everything from informative articles about getting children involved in the cooking process to nutritional requirements at different ages. They also have information on food labeling and dietary guidelines.
Nutritionfacts.org, according to their website, is a “non-commercial, science-based, public service provided by Dr. Michael Greger.” Dr. Greger is a medical and research professional focusing on nutrition. He has created a video and podcast library of over 1,000 different segments centered on many aspects of nutrition and health. He also does his own research on food topics.
Nutritionfacts.org is a 501c3 nonprofit charity. His down-to-earth, layman’s explanations provide news you can use to make healthy food choices.
Best Food Facts is an organization dedicated to providing science-based, objective information about all things food. They collaborate with experts in the diet, nutrition, science, and research industries to provide expert information on a variety of topics.
Their multimedia approach allows users to submit questions about different foods and receive answers from the experts. Their website includes a mixture of articles, recipes, videos, and other tidbits to fill your information plate, so to speak.
Honorable Mention: The Food Institute
On a different angle, the Food Institute contains information about the food industry. This includes trends, partnerships, expansions, and research studies about the benefits of different foods, as well as other topics. Although their target audience is the food industry, you as a consumer can benefit by being in the know as to what is up and coming in the food industry.
They have information on the benefits of various foods and what new grocery options may be coming to your location. The website also covers what those entities are doing with regard to food access, security, and sustainability. You can also sign up for different newsletters and other correspondence to keep your finger on the pulse of the food industry.
Incorporating healthy food choices into your daily routine helps to promote good health and foster a positive food experience.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Are there food and nutrition resources missing from this list? Let us know what sources YOU have found and how they have helped you.