Nutrition - The Foundation of Good Health
Nutrition is the cornerstone to better health and aging. This leads to good cellular health, maintaining a healthy weight and reducing risk factors of premature aging.
"Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food" - Hippocrates
Although we believe in taking a comprehensive approach to total health by considering how all areas of our life are connected (food, physical activity, career, relationships, spiritual), our food nutrition plays a pivotal role in managing the other areas.
As explained in the Cellular Health section, the human body is made up of trillions of cells. We need to give them the proper nutrition to function as they were designed to do.
Basics 101: Protein, Fats and Carbs
Basics 102: Vitamins and Minerals
Food is the fuel that helps nourish and strengthen the cells for proper function.
With today’s highly processed food supply containing many unnecessary ingredients and lacking in proper nutrients, our food choices are the root cause of numerous health issues of our nation – approximately 75% of our health is determined by our diet!
We are what we eat as the saying goes…and most people know this. But they don’t know where to start or how to change their eating habits to get the proper nutrition.
When it comes to how we feel…good or bad…the majority of the time it comes down to food:
What we eat (the type of food as well as the quality)
How much we eat
When we eat
A poor diet can leave you dragging, cause headaches, feeling run down, tired, grumpy…you get the picture. A great diet with the proper nutrition on the other hand can leave you full of energy, help maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. It some cases, it can even reverse chronic diseases.
What is a great diet? It depends on the person, but in general, not taking in excess calories and making sure it is nutrient rich. And I know you have heard it before, but that means eating fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Nutrition: The Importance of Water and Macronutrients
In his article, Food For Fuel, Dr. Luigi Gratton, Vice President of Medical Affairs and Education of Herbalife, stressed the importance of water in our daily diet. He said, "Hydration in the human body is paramount to our health and our energy level is greatly impacted by the amount of water that we drink. Even a 5% drop in body fluids will cause a 25-30% loss of energy in most people. Eight glasses of water daily, which is approximately 2 liters, is a healthy amount of hydration. Proper hydration maintains healthy bodily function and prevents fatigue."
To function properly, our bodies also needs fuel from a balanced diet of the three macronutrients: Carbohydrates, Fats, and Proteins. Generally speaking, here is their function and the recommended nutrition percent your food should consist of:
Carbohydrates - fuel your body (energy), 45 % - 65%
Proteins - build your body (muscle), 15% - 25%
Fats - heal your body (cells), 20% - 35%
While everybody is different and one person's food may be another's poison, Dr. Gratton summarizes the macronutrients as follows:
Certain Carbohydrates can be a good source of energy, while others can cause imbalances in blood sugar. Whole-grains such as whole-wheat bread or brown rice help to even out blood sugar levels. Other carbs, such as candy bars, sodas, chips and cookies are simple sugars which cause the peaks and troughs.
There are also different kinds of fats. Flax seed oil, fish oil, olive oil, as well as the natural oils founds in seeds and nuts, are healthy for the body and help to increase your energy. All trans fats are undesirable, so be sure to read food labels for the amount of these fats in any food.
Protein is the third macronutrient which is essential to energy production. The best sources of protein come from lean meats, fish, white meat of chicken, and healthy soy protein. Avoid protein from fast foods, as it lacks nutritional value and is often processed meat. Also remember to stay away from fatty cuts of meat. Look for lean cuts marked “loin” like “tenderloin” or “sirloin.”"
Are you having a hard time getting the right macronutrients into your diet? Do you meal plan? We will have a meal planning section coming soon.
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