Six simple tips to help you select healthier foods

Obesity has become a serious public health concern around the world. Here are tips to help you get on track and make healthier choices on what goes in your shopping cart and in your mouth.

Numerous health sites (BetterNutrition, RealAge, DrWeil) offer insights into how to achieve optimal wellness; here are six things you might try to incorporate into menu planning and stocking your fridge:

Lean towards the green: try to eat like a vegetarian and keep grass-fed, hormone-free animal-based proteins to no more than twice a week.

Remember organic is the cleaner option: take a look at the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) cheat sheet for shopping for pesticide-free produce and products:

Reach for color: eliminate the "white stuff" such as salt, sugar and flour and replace with sprouted whole grains.

Use your fingers: if it has more ingredients than you can count on your fingers it is most likely overly processed.

Quiz yourself: you might be able to pronounce all the ingredients but if you don't know what they are, it's probably best to leave it alone. Harmful chemicals have been linked to allergies, cancers and other health problems.

Opt for the whole food: one tip to avoid eating processed foods is to eat the whole food (for instance, with nuts), especially recommended when it comes to oils.

For some ideas on what to cook up using these tips, take a look at's three 400-calorie recipe ideas: