It seems like there is an almost daily change, recommendation, suggestion, alternative or correction on the type of nutrition facts that we need to maintain a healthy and balanced existence. This roller coaster of information has led to an increased intensity of eating and food ‘trends’ which have sometimes bordered on the obsessive. Combining common sense as a rule-of-thumb with some fairly easy guidelines with nutrition facts that can take you off the ride of confusion and make your life healthier.
Nutrition Facts: You may already be familiar with some of these words of wisdom, but there may be a few that are enlightening and new:
*Avoid Sugar, sucrose and high fructose corn syrup:
All of these create an eternal unhealthy cycle. Although ‘empty calories’, they are hidden dangers that make the brain crave more, then add more weight and are the linked as causes of type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
*Omega-3 Fatty Acids:
This is one of the highest priority dietary items and most people simply do not get enough. Since the omega-3 fatty acid DHA is around forty percent of the brain’s polyunsaturated fats, it is essential for good brain health. Deficiencies can cause a reduction in IQ, various levels of depression as well as mental disorders and even heart disease. The three types of omega-3’s are: ALA (plant-based), and from animals: DHA and EPA. The best sources of omega-3 fatty acids for the human body are from animals, including pastured eggs, fish, fish oil and grass-fed meat.
*There is no ‘magic diet’:
Everyone is different and there isn’t one single diet that can encompass all of the varying needs. The way that we each process foods depends on genetics, environment, body type and culture. Extremes of any sort do not have a high longevity success rate and it is best to simply go with what is the healthiest and works for you.
*Trans fats/partially hydrogenated oils are just plain bad:
These horrors of the snack world increase bad cholesterol, lower good cholesterol, and are a major source of weight gain. What you may not know is the manner in which they are created: to emulate saturated fats, companies combine unsaturated fats with hydrogen gas and then heat to high levels. They are packed with chemicals and there is nothing even remotely healthy about them.
*Vegetables are a mainstay healthy choice:
Science continues to discover the benefits that we already knew about the wonders of vegetables. Increased health has been linked to those that have a high vegetable diet that is rich in fiber, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins. The array and choices of vegetables simply boggles my mind. Hit the farmers market and you will have an array of options so that you never get bored. Let you children choose a veggie to cook or bring home too. This will encourage a wider palate and hopefully prevent a lil picky eater on your hands.
*Vitamin D: one of the most important vitamins of the body.
Research around the globe is discovering the value of vitamin D as a critical nutrient that plays an important role in a number of body functions. Deficiencies in this major vitamin have been associated with diabetes, osteoporosis, cancer and other diseases. The body creates vitamin D through the skin’s exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Sun block is often used to protect the skin, but this also reduces vitamin D production. Most people must add a vitamin D3 supplement to maintain the level needed by the body. Check with your major healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet.
*Refined Carbohydrates have the nutrients removed and leave only the fat-building contents. While there continues to be debates on the benefits of carbohydrates, there is agreement that the refined version brings nothing to the table that is good for you and everything that is bad.
*Supplements complement a healthy diet, but are not a substitute:
The recent uptick in the interest of supplementation has been an almost empty-handed promise. While supplements will benefit those that maintain a good dietary regimen, they can never completely offset a bad diet. Proper supplementation is vital to long term health. Our food supply is certainly not what our ancesters ate so you must take this into consideration. Many of my programs outline the best supplementation guides for children and adults.
*Unprocessed food is good, processed food is the worst:
Creating ‘processed food’ involves the factory removal of many of the viable and required nutrients and replacing them with a variety of chemicals, sodium and sugars. While the purpose is to offer something that ‘tastes’ better, it is actually closer to a toxin. Unprocessed foods, in their original state, are the healthiest.
These are the multi-tasking foods that not only taste great but bring a powerhouse of nutrition and health to the body. The beauty of these foods is that they are usually low calorie while containing disease-fighting nutrients. Some of the best super foods are found in the fruit aisle, packed with antioxidants, the favorites include blueberries, goji berry and strawberries. The rise of coconut oil as an excellent super food has brought newly discovered benefits for the type of ‘good fat’ that it contains. It is linked to lowered heart disease rates, increased energy and assists in the metabolic process of burning fat.
Having a diet rich in natural foods, preferably organic, that have not been processed or contains any chemicals, additives or sugars is the overall recommendation for a health and wellness. Good nutritional choices are becoming easier as our society is rejecting the factory processed foods and returning to the selections that bring a better life.
Always check with your primary healthcare provider before making any changes to your dietary regimen.