Nutrition

10 DIETARY PARADIGMS

  1. There are as many ‘‘right’’ diets as there are people on the planet.
  2. What’s healthy for one person might not be healthy for YOU.
  3. The body has an innate wisdom, beyond any book or authority.
  4. Diets are not useful as dogma, but they are useful references.
  5. Your body is the ultimate dietary authority for every phase of your life.
  6. Your diet changes as YOU change.
  7. Your body is the most powerful, least expensive and BEST dietary experimentation lab in existence.
  8. Your RELATIONSHIP with food and your body impacts your health more powerfully than the food you eat.
  9. Every symptom, craving or behavior around food has a POSITIVE INTENTION; therefore symptoms, cravings and behaviors are not the problem, they are the just the best SOLUTION you have come up with so far.
  10. Nourishment is about much more than just food.

Nutrition: make the right choice!

How to eat healthily, every day with no sacrifice. It sounds easy, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, we struggle with binge eating, and with the crucial question: “what shall I eat to lose weight?!” for most of our lifetime. Believe me, I went through the same dilemma until I discovered those simple rules and notions that changed my junky habits for good.

Beginning with facts: nutrition is the process of taking in nutrients from the food that you eat. There are six main nutrients needed for energy, maintenance of tissues, and regulation of bodily processes. Those are carbohydrates, fats, proteins, water, vitamins, and minerals. Additionally, there are also lots of hearth and soul nutrients too, but let’s stick with some basic nutrition science. So, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats are called ‘‘macronutrients’’. It means, the body needs a large amount of them, and it needs them every day to ensure proper functioning.

Macronutrients are unique because they are the only nutrients that provide your body with energy, which is measured in calories. Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients, which means the body only needs trace amounts. Now, micronutrients do not contain calories or provide the body with energy. However, they do affect energy metabolism. Hence, they help your body convert calories containing nutrients into energy.  Everything is clear so far? Now I introduce Pizza and Pasta also called:

CARBONHYDRATES

So carbohydrates are organic compounds that contain single, double, or multiple sugar units. The body looks to carbohydrates for quick energy because carbs are a really powerful, fast-acting, energy source. There are three types: there are simple carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates, and fiber.

  • Simple carbohydrates have a simple chemical structure, hence the name, they are only one to two sugar units long. Because of that simple structure, they’re broken down and metabolized really quickly by the digestive system. Generally, they taste pretty sweet, like a fruit sugar for example.
  • Complex carbohydrates have a complex chemical structure, that is thousands of sugar units long. It takes more time to be broken down by the digestive system, which can be a good thing. Complex carbohydrates taste savory, or starchy (like potatoes).
  • Fiber cannot be digested, and it doesn’t provide calories, however, they provide a nice service, so that it helps move food through the digestive tract

All three kinds of carbohydrates are important in the diet because carbohydrates are broken down into glucose. Glucose is a simple sugar, which is the body’s main energy, or fuel source. When the body uses carbohydrates for energy, and it can get glucose from carbohydrates, this means it’s freed up to use other macronutrients for other jobs, like tissue growth and repair. The brain, the kidneys, the muscles and the heart need carbohydrates to function properly. Where do you find carbohydrates? Well, they’re found primarily in starchy foods like grains, potatoes, fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and sweets.

 

FATS

Fats, or lipids, are substances that do not dissolve in water and we need them for several things. First, the maintenance of cellular membranes, which are made from fat. Fats are high-density energy source that provide endurance and they help absorb fat-soluble vitamins; they provide cushioning for organs, and insulation of the body. They are the raw materials for creating Vitamin D and hormones. They provide taste, consistency, stability, and satiety. Fats are found in all kinds of foods, like meat, poultry, nuts, dairy, butter, oils, lard, fish, some green products, avocado, and coconuts.

There are three main types of fats.

  • Saturated fat is a type of fat in which the fatty acid chains have single bonds. It comes from animal sources, like red meat, poultry, and full fat dairy. Saturated fat is solid at room temperature.
  • Unsaturated fat is a fat in which there is at least one double bond within the fatty acid chain (what makes a fat saturated or unsaturated fat, is the hydrogen atom missing). There are fatty acids with one double bond, and those are called monounsaturated because they have one gap, and then there are fatty acids that have more than one gap and they’re called polyunsaturated.
  • Monounsaturated fat is found in a variety of food and oils. It is liquid at room temperature. A polyunsaturated fat is found mostly in plant-based foods and oils, except for Omega-3s and it is also liquid at room temperature.
  •  Trans-fat occurs naturally in some foods, but mostly it is created by a process called, ‘‘partial hydrogenation’’, terrible for the body but good for food manufacturers because when oils are partially hydrogenated, they become easier to cook with and less likely to spoil. So that means you can have your packaged, or processed food on the shelf longer. Trans fats are also solid at room temperature.

PROTEINS

Proteins are large complex molecules that play many critical roles in the body. They do most of the work in cells, and are required for the structure, the function, and the regulation of the body’s tissues and organs. Enzymes used for digestion, protection, and immunity, are made of proteins. Essential hormones that are used for body regulation require protein. Proteins may be used as a source of energy when carbohydrates are not available; this is usually a last resort for the body, as it likes to save proteins for growth development and repair. Protein is found in meats, poultry, fish, meat substitutes, cheese, milk, nuts, legumes, and in smaller quantities in some starchy foods and vegetables.

MICRONUTRIENTS

Micronutrients are substances used in small amounts by the body. Now, while they are only needed in small amounts, they play really important roles in human development and wellbeing, including the regulation of metabolism, heartbeat, cellular pH and bone density. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals.

There are two kinds of vitamins, there are water-soluble vitamins, and that includes the B-complex vitamins, and Vitamin-C, and these kinds of vitamins are easily lost through bodily fluids and must be replaced on a daily basis. And then there are fat-soluble vitamins, and those are Vitamin A, D, E, and K. And those are not so easily lost in bodily fluids, as water-soluble vitamins.

There are also two kinds of minerals: the first are macro minerals – Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Sodium, and Potassium and these are ‘‘major minerals’’ because they are needed in larger amounts. Then, there are micro minerals, or trace minerals because they are needed in trace amounts. And those are Iron, Copper, Iodine, Zinc, and Fluoride.