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Live Well: How to Use Food as Fuel

May 12, 2023


If you tend to have an energy slump mid-day, what you ate in the morning could be to blame. Eating foods that are high in sugar may give you a temporary energy rush by quickly elevating your blood sugar. Once your cells absorb that sugar, you’ll feel tired and hungry. Studies show that too much sugar also contributes to depression, joint pain, heart disease, and more.

Foods that energize Instead of reaching for an energy drink or a second cup of coffee and relying on caffeine for energy, try getting a boost through nutritious food as fuel. In general, it’s best to eat a balanced diet—including vegetables, fruits, protein, and whole grains.

Within that balanced diet, these foods will help you maintain a steady energy level:

  • Complex carbohydrates, such as oatmeal, fruits, and vegetables
  • Healthy fats, like nuts, fish, and avocados
  • Proteins, including eggs, skinless chicken, Greek yogurt, and beans

Fast, affordable tips for better nutrition

Eating healthier doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money. Try these time- and money-saving tips for improving your diet:

  • Buy frozen vegetables. Because the frozen produce you buy from your local grocery store is flash-frozen right after picking, it’s still rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients. Frozen foods also keep longer than fresh and are usually less expensive.
  • Double-up on recipes. When you have time to cook, make a double batch. Use the rest for another meal later in the week, or freeze the leftovers.
  • Make a meal out of snacks. You don’t have to “cook” at all to have a healthy, energy-boosting meal. Just throw together some snacks like nuts, raw vegetables, cheese, fruit, and low-sodium deli meat.

Save the sugar for special occasions

You can still have treats—just not every day. Save the sugar for special occasions, and treat yourself to a healthy meal (and plenty of energy) instead!