Posted: Aug 29, 2012 10:00 AM
With so much information out there about healthy eating, it can be difficult to discern which foods you actually need in order to form a truly healthy diet. Camilla V. Saulsbury's 5 Easy Steps to Healthy Cooking offers a simple solution with a proven track record of enhancing health.

Different from a traditional diet book, 5 Easy Steps to Healthy Cooking describes a simplified approach that is both holistic and flexible. The book features easy and enticing recipes that will please your taste buds and your health.

The five steps to healthy cooking are:

Choose fresh, whole foods

Skip the processed, pre-packaged foods and stick to fresh, whole foods instead. Whole foods are rich in nutrients and generally lower in calories than their preservative-laden counterparts.

Opt for healthy fats and proteins

You can't skip fat altogether but all fats are not created equal. Add good fats to your diet in the form of nuts, seeds and other healthy foods.

Eat mostly vegetable- and fruit-based foods

You don't need to eat a meaty diet to get the protein and other nutrients you need. Stick to a diet consisting of mostly fruits and vegetables for optimal health.

Select superfoods (nutrient-dense foods)

This is one area that you can believe the hype. Superfoods really are super for your health. Popular superfoods include: almonds, berries, broccoli, quinoa, salmon and sweet potatoes.

Eat more whole grains

You need some carbs in your diet. Choose complex carbs in the form of whole grains. Whole grains are high in fiber, protein, B vitamins, antioxidants, and trace minerals such as copper, iron, magnesium and zinc. Featuring whole grains in your diet has been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, some forms of cancer and obesity.

The food choices we make affect our health for better or for worse. Don't starve yourself with a ridiculous fad diet, instead aim for a varied, balanced diet full of nutrient-rich foods.

Camilla V. Saulsbury is a food writer, recipe developer, cooking instructor and fitness expert/personal trainer. She has been featured on the Food Network, in the New York Times and on Today and QVC, and has won numerous top cooking competitions, including the Food Network's $25,000 Ultimate Recipe Showdown (Cookies Episode).

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