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Whatever your wellness goals are, nutrition is an important part of getting there. What we eat can either make us healthy or sick. Having a diet filled with a variety of healthy foods can help maintain proper weight, prevent illness, and even promote good mental health. There are many diseases that are directly related to having an improper diet, such as diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers.
To have a diet that offers the proper levels of nutrition you will have to eat many different foods, monitor some of the foods and drinks you consume, and pay attention to your calorie intake. Doing this will help you reach your goals.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on the internet. Please consult with your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet. This post is for informational and educational purposes only. You can see my full medical disclaimer here.
To function properly, your body must have the correct combination of nutrients:
There are many diets out there that suggest going carb-free, but it is important to know that they are a necessary part of eating healthy. Our bodies take carbohydrates and turn them into glucose, which is then stored and used for energy later. However, too much glucose will get stored as fat cells in the body.
Carbohydrates come in two forms – simple and complex. Sugars are considered simple carbohydrates; whereas, starches and fibers are considered complex carbohydrates.
Simple carbohydrates are broken down quickly and can give you a quick rush of energy. This can be beneficial from time to time, but can also lead to energy crashes. It is best to limit the intake of simple carbohydrates.
Complex carbohydrates take longer to break down because they are made up of more molecules. This allows the body to get the most out of this nutrient, and you are less likely to crash later. Athletes will sometimes eat large plates of spaghetti the night before a game for this reason.
If you would like to know more about simple and complex carbohydrates, check out this article here.
Proteins, the building blocks of the body, help build and maintain muscles and other tissues. They are long chains made up of smaller molecules called amino acids.
Proteins and the amino acids that come with them are necessary for the body to function properly. They also play in important role in the creation of hormones.
Foods like meats and vegetables are the best sources for protein. However, eating too much animal proteins can lead to health issues such as high cholesterol due to it being high in saturated fat.
This article here has some suggestions of foods that are high in protein.
While it may seem strange, fat is actually a nutrient that your body needs to function at its best. Saturated and unsaturated fat are the natural forms of fat.
Too much saturated fat is unhealthy and has the potential to put you at risk of health problems. It is important to limit your intake of foods that are high in saturated fats. This post here has a list of these foods that you can use as a reference.
Unsaturated fats are healthy and should be incorporated into a healthy diet. Nuts and some oils, like olive oil, are a great way to get unsaturated fats into your daily intake. This post here has a pretty thorough list of foods you can eat to get the proper fats.
However, if unsaturated fats go through a refinement process, it can become saturated fats known as trans fatty acids. It is best to avoid these types of foods all together if you can.
Different vitamins perform different tasks within the body and are required for your body to function properly. They work on a cellular level and can do things like support metabolism and the immune system. 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 the 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 other nutrients 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.
Balanced Diet Guidelines
There are several guidelines that can be followed to create a well-balanced and nutritional diet.
You will want to make sure to get enough fruits and vegetables. Two and a half cups of vegetables and two cups of fruit is a good amount to get the nutrients you need. Remember to have a variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet. A good way to do this is to choose foods that have different colors, 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. Avoiding highly processed grains like those in white bread will help you get the most out of the grains you eat.
It is often suggested that milk should also be part of a healthy diet. If you choose dairy, then you should consume at least forty-eight ounces of low-fat milk or milk products on a daily basis. You can choose to replace it with non-dairy options, such as almond or soy milk, which also contain calcium.
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.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or nutritionist. Please consult with your health care provider before making any changes to your diet. You can see my medical disclaimer here.
Excellent nutrition is the basis of a healthy diet. These guidelines will help you get a good start on a healthy diet. Making small dietary changes everyday will help you build the habits of life long nutrition.
I hope that this has helped you. I would like to hear what you have to say. Leave a comment below, and don’t forget that sharing is caring.