The best way to eat well and not eat too much is by choosing foods and supplements that you know are good for you.
“We can look at a lot of the foods that are popular and say, ‘Oh, it’s healthy, that’s good for us,'” says Robert M. Brown, MD, president of the American Heart Association and a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.
Brown says that’s not the case for most people.
“You’re not going to have a good relationship with a lot if any of the food you eat,” he says.
He says a key thing to remember when choosing foods is to ask yourself what you’re trying to do.
“Do I want to feel energized?
Do I want my blood sugar to come down?”
“If you’re going to be doing something for health, you have to be really focused on what’s really going to do that.”
If you’re not feeling energized, it can be a sign you’re taking in too much sugar.
You may be also experiencing a hangover, which is when your body’s immune system attacks your body.
Brown advises people to avoid sugar-containing drinks and food and drink with sugar because these products can increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes.
“The best thing is to avoid any foods and drinks that are sweetened with artificial sweeteners and other artificial ingredients that you can’t really control,” Brown says, adding that the best thing to do is to eat food and eat healthfully.
“It’s really the same as you’re eating a healthy diet and you don’t have a hang over,” he adds.
What about salt?
Many people feel salt helps them sleep, so if you are not having a good night’s sleep, Brown says it’s important to limit salt intake.
But some research shows that sodium intake may not be the key to staying slim.
“Sodium intake is probably not the thing that’s really affecting your body,” Brown adds.
If you feel salt overload, Brown recommends looking at a diet low in processed foods.
“Look for foods that you’re already familiar with and know they’re low in sodium,” he suggests.
Brown also suggests looking at foods that don’t contain a lot, such as fruits and vegetables.
“Be aware of what you’ve already eaten,” Brown cautions.
“What you’re putting into your body, you’re consuming from a natural source, and you’re probably consuming it with other nutrients that are also there,” he explains.
Brown recommends trying to avoid sodium-containing products.
“There’s no way around it,” he tells Fortune.
“Eat what you know is good for your body.”
Brown says there are many natural foods that have the same ingredients, so choosing a healthy snack should be easy.
“Just be aware of the types of foods you’re using,” he advises.
Brown warns that there’s a big difference between eating healthfully and eating a diet that’s low in nutrients.
“I’m not trying to suggest people should go back to eating the foods they’re eating, but to have an attitude about where they can focus their diet and how much they’re consuming,” he recommends.