There are a few misconceptions about diet and nutrition. I don’t typically like the word diet since many associate it with specific eating habits that are followed for a period of time and then you get off the diet. Nutrition on the other hand is something that we all know is important, but it just seems a fancy word that takes itself too seriously. In the end nutrition seemed to be a better description of what I wanted to explore, so here are some basic guidelines for any general diet and nutrition plan.
A healthy body is similar to a finely-tuned car. And there is nothing better than keeping the body tuned than following a balanced diet and nutrition program. This does not have to be restrictive; it should just follow some basic guidelines. The body needs food as its fuel and lifestyle, exercise and mental attitude as its regular maintenance for it to achieve its health potential. This explains the relation between health, diet and nutrition. Putting in the wrong fuel or forsaking the right fuel will prevent your body from delivering its power and best performance. Nothing is more important than proper diet and nutrition because without it, the body engine will splutter, cough and eventually stall. However, when following a balanced diet and nutrition, you can benefit from:
- Added vitality and energy
- Obtaining the weight that’s ideal for you
- Stronger and more powerful immune system
- Improved overall body performance
- Delayed effects of aging
- Being fit and active
- Lessened fatigue and tiredness
- Healthy teeth and gums
- Enhanced ability for concentration
- Total health which means less risks for diseases
How can you achieve proper diet and nutrition?
Basically, proper diet and nutrition can be achieved from following the simple guidelines outlined below. A well-balanced diet and nutrition program includes:
1. Low fat
Almost all nutritionists and health experts agree that cutting down on fats from butter, cream, fried foods, oils and margarine is the best way to reduce weight and make your modern diet and nutrition healthier. This is also particularly important for a healthy heart.
2. Moderate Carbohydrates
Because many people have gone weight-conscious, they have forgotten the importance of rice, potatoes, pasta, cereals and bread to their health. Carbohydrates are important for vitality and energy so if you want to energize your body, take in foods that are rich in good quality carbohydrates.
3. High Fiber
Fiber is the large indigestible part of the food that you take in everyday. It doesn’t only get you chewing, it also keeps the inner part of your body moving smoothly, helps prevent bowel cancer and gallstones, helps lower cholesterol, and keeps your weight in check. Grain breads and whole wheat are good sources of fiber.
4. Vitamins and Minerals
Fruits, vegetables and grains are abundant with vitamins and minerals as well as with other natural substances that functions as antioxidants. These foods help the body fight the free radicals that you get from bad foods and pollutants that could damage membranes, and cells.
5. Eat Variety of Foods
Eating a variety of foods will help you get all the nutrients your body needs. Try having a meal with foods rich in protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals and you get all the good nutrients your body deserves. Each meal should contain food from all 3 macro nutrient groups.
6. Limit Consumption of Sugar and Sweets
Sugar can help you stay active and on the go however, when taken excessively, adds unwanted kilojoules in your body and can displace and dispose other important foods especially in kids. Excessive intake of sugar and sweets may also cause tooth decay and other dental problems.
7. Limit Consumption of Salt
The usual diet and nutrition program is laden with salt. While most people think that salt is a good flavoring for all foods, it actually masks the real flavor of the food you are eating. Not only that! Many packaged and prepared meals have high levels of sodium that is bad for your health so it is very important that you buy fresh produce. When buying packaged food, look for labels with no-added-salts or foods with reduced amount of sodium. One other alternative is to switch to sea salt for food preparation.
8. Increase Intake of Fluid
Two liters or eight glasses of water is needed to keep your body hydrated as well as to keep your kidneys and other organs working efficiently. Don’t be fooled by fruit juices, energy drinks, or alcohol! Many of these drinks add calories that people ignore in their daily consumption and drinks like coffee and alcohol actually dehydrate the body. They are not considered helpful fluid because they act as diuretics that force your kidneys to excrete more fluid. Water is your best choice, so stick to it.
Proper diet and nutrition is rather easy to achieve. Just incorporate the above mentioned foods in your daily diet and nutrition program. Enjoy the food you eat and take your time to appreciate them and for sure, you’ll be healthier than ever!