Whether you are at your ideal weight or striving to reach your weight goal is it simply a matter of burning more calories than you take in? The answer, I suggest, is no! Overall body health improvement as well as weight gain or loss must be factored in to the equation or you could be heading for problems.
Correct nutrition can help to reduce the risk of a miriad of health-related problems, the most frightening of which are surely heart disease and cancer.
Proper nutrition, however, entails eating many different foods, monitoring your consumption of some food and beverage items, and counting calories.
Good diets offer balanced nutrition that reduces cholesterol, blood pressure, and helps with weight control.
To function properly, your body must have the correct combination of nutrients:
Carbohydrates. They are the primary source of ammunition in your diet. The body uses carbohydrates to build glucose which can be used immediately or stored in your body for later.
Too much glucose, however, is stored as fat. There are two types of carbohydrates – simple and complex. Sugars are simple carbohydrates. Starches and fibers are complex carbohydrates.
Proteins. Proteins help your body build and maintain muscles and other tissues. They also function in the creation of hormones. Like carbohydrates, excess protein is stored as fat.
Animal and vegetable are the two major types of proteins. Too much animal protein can cause high cholesterol, as it is high in saturated fat.
Fat. Strange as it may seem; fat is another nutrient your body requires. It comes in both saturated and unsaturated forms. Saturated fat puts you at risk of health problems. Unsaturated fat is healthy, but if it goes through any type of refinement process, it can become saturated fat.
Vitamins. These are also required nutrients. Different vitamins perform different tasks within the body. They can work with the metabolism to help with energy levels for any task you can think of that you need your body to perform. It has also been noted that certain vitamins can prevent disease.
For example, vitamins A, C, and E, also called antioxidants, can assist with the prevention of coronary artery disease by keeping build up from occurring on artery walls. Vitamin B-1 is needed for digestion and proper nervous system function. Vitamin B-2 is needed for normal cell growth.
Vitamin B-3 helps to detoxify your body. Folic acid assists with production of red blood cells. Vitamin D assists with the absorption of calcium. Vitamin K helps your blood clot.
Minerals and trace elements. These are another nutrient your body requires. Both are used in many different body processes. Minerals like chlorine help make your digestive juices. Phosphorus helps build strong bones.
Both can be found in the foods we consume, but with a trace element, your body just needs a tiny amount. Salt is one final nutrient your body requires. You should not consume more than 2400 milligrams per day, though, as it might raise your blood pressure.
You should follow several guidelines to create a well balanced, nutritional diet. First, try to consume two and one half cups of vegetables and two cups of fruit each day. When making your selections for each day, be sure to choose a good variety.
A good rough guide is to eat as many different colors as possible, this will help you to select from all five vegetable subgroups at least four times per week.
You should eat at least three ounces of whole grain products each day. At least half of your grain intake should be whole grain based. Milk should also be part of a healthy diet. Consume at least forty-eight ounces of low fat milk or milk products on a daily basis.
Your total fat intake should only be between ten and thirty percent of your calories. Most of the fats you consume should be in the form of unsaturated fats, as saturated fats can do much to damage your health. Meat, poultry, dry beans, and milk or milk products should all be lean, low-fat, or fat-free.
Less than ten percent of your calories should come from saturated fats, and you should always try to avoid trans-fatty acid.
Fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and whole grains should be a regular part of your diet as should potassium rich foods. Alcoholic beverages should only be consumed in moderation.
Excellent nutrition is the basis of a healthy diet.
Elements of Good Nutrition
With the amount of information that exists about good nutrition, you would think it was a big mystery. The truth of the matter is, there is no mystery involved in getting the proper nutrients that your body needs. Why should you care about getting the proper nutrients?
Many people are under the misconception that eating healthy is for the young because they are growing. Tissue and cells are constantly being renewed in both children and adults. The failure for these elements to repair themselves can result in diseases of lifelong misery or worse, death.
To lower your risk of developing a disease, you simply need to follow three simple steps of good nutrition.
Plain and simple, your body needs water. Being properly hydrated will benefit you from head to toe. Water keeps your cells hydrated and flowing throughout your body. It doesn’t take long to witness the benefits of drinking sufficient water.
Just a week of being hydrated and your skin will have a new glow. If you need to lose weight, water can help you achieve your goal. In many instances, people misinterpret thirst for hunger. Unless it’s been a few hours since you have eaten, have a glass of water the next time you have hunger panes.
There are numerous guidelines for how much water to drink. Consuming eight glasses of water each day is the most popular guideline. People have different needs. A better indication of how hydrated you are is your urine.
When you are properly hydrated your urine is almost clear. There is the possibility of water intoxication so you don’t want your urine to be completely colorless.
In addition to being hydrated, you need to eat a variety of foods. Forget fad diets that restrict certain foods.
The key to healthy eating is to eat in moderation and variety. Your food choices should include a large percentage from complex carbohydrates, which is sufficient for energy. You should also consume several servings of fruits, vegetables, grains, and dairy every day.
You should limit your servings of protein and fats to two or three servings each day. By including all of these food groups in your diet, you are less likely to be hungry or have cravings for sweets and other non-nutritional foods.
As long as you live in a country where food is plentiful and produced safely, you should have no problem obtaining the amount of vitamins and minerals your body needs. However, food allergies, dislikes, and illness may prevent you from eating certain foods.
Some people, for example, are lactose intolerant and cannot consume dairy products. In these instances, supplementation should become a part of a plan for healthy nutrition. You don’t need a prescription to purchase vitamins, but it is a good idea to discuss your particular needs with your medical doctor.
Consuming excessive amounts of some vitamins can cause toxicity and unpleasant side effects.