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Nutrition Facts - 101 - What you need to know!

By   /  November 4, 2014  /  1 Comment

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There are very many controversies when it comes to nutrition and people tend to be confused on what is wrong or right, what food to eat and what to stay away from. Good nutrition boosts growth and development especially in children. Eating healthy helps to prevent bad cholesterol, high blood pressure and assists in reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart diseases, diabetes and cancer. A good nutrition keeps obesity at bay, cavities and iron deficiency.

The dietary guideline recommends foods with fruits and vegetable, whole grains foods and animal products with low fats. The guideline also recommends that people should minimize intake of solid fats, added sugars not forgetting processed grains.

Knowing how to read the nutrition facts is one of the most crucial thing, but most people don’t know how to. Most people just pick any food that says that says healthy and throw it in the shopping basket. These facts are meant to assist you to make more healthy choices.

Listed below are the common nutritional facts that most nutritional studies tend to agree on.


Added Sugar is Not Good for Your Health

It is widely known that sugar is not good for anyone’s health and is a major cause of killer diseases. Others may assume that sugar is just empty calories, while others believe it to the main cause of millions of deaths every year. It is a fact that added sugar such as sucrose and high fructose corn syrup do have empty calories. It does not have any nutrients beneficial to the body and if you consume a lot of sugar than you will probably become deficient as you will not be getting enough foods with nutrients.

But this just the beginning, there are more severe health risks of sugar that have now reached the mainstream attention. Sugar, mostly due to its high levels of fructose, has being implicated to being the main leading cause of obesity, heart diseases and diabetes type II.

How does fructose result to this? Well, fructose metabolism tales place in the liver, gradually resulting in non-alcoholic fatty liver condition, resistance to insulin, elevated triglycerides, obesity in the abdomen and high levels of cholesterol. 

This way, consuming excess sugars results in relentless biochemical drive in the brain to continue eating sugar, adding more weight and consuming more and more sugar. When you get the urge to consume more and more sugar, calories pile up and before you know it you are overweight.



Omega 3 Fats are Important 

Omega 3 fats are very crucial for normal functioning of the body. For instance, DHA which is an Omega 3 fatty acid and is gotten from animals constitutes to around 40% of polyunsaturated fats in the human brain.

Lack of enough Omega 3, is as a result of low IQ, depression, a number of psychological disorders, heart conditions and a number of other serious diseases. There are 3 major sources of Omega 3 Fats such as ALA which is derived from plants, DHA and EPA which are derived from animals. Some studies have shown that the conversion process is not effective in humans, thus it is better to get the Omega 3 Fats from animal and animal products such as fish, meat from grass fed animals, pastured eggs and fish oil so as to enjoy the full benefits.

A huge part of the population across the world is Omega 3 deficient. Getting enough and essential Omega 3 fatty acids can help in preventing a number of diseases and at the same time making sure your body remains healthy.


Diets Do not Offer Similar Results to Everyone

Everyone is unique in his/her own way, with subtle differences in genetics, type of body, cultural background and surroundings, can have an impact on the type of diet that one should eat.

Some individuals can perform well and still remain healthy with a low carb diet, while some may be perfectly fine on a vegetable high carb diet. What works for you does not mean it will also work for the others. To know what exactly you should do, you can carry out a little self experimentation. Try a number of different things, until you get one that you will be comfortable with and one you are sure you can adhere to. The most effective diet for you is the one that will give you effective results and one you can work with in the long term. Go for what works for you, not what is working for the rest, as diets do not offer similar results to everyone.

Artificial Trans Fats should be avoided

Trans fats are also referred to as hydrogenated oils. They are manufactured by combining unsaturated fats with hydrogen gas at very high heat to make them look like saturated fats. The whole process is not very interesting, and it is quite amazing to think that someone thought this kind of fats are good for human consumption, whereas they are not as they result in adverse health risks.

Trans fats increases the unhealthy cholesterol and decreases the healthy cholesterol, results in abdominal obesity, inflammation and resistance in the insulin. In the long run, consuming trans fats increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart conditions, and many other types of diseases that causes death of millions of people each year.

Trans fats are fats that are chemically processed and results in a number of healthy risks to your body. You should stay away from them as much as you can.


Vegetables are good for Your Health

Vegetables never go wrong when it comes to improving ones health. They have high quantities of minerals, fiber, antioxidants and a number of trace nutrients that scientists have been uncovering. According to research, consuming vegetables leads to improved health and minimizes the chances of diseases. It is good to consume a number of vegetables daily. They are good for your health and add variety to your food such that you will not get bored eating the same kind of food daily.


Get Enough Vitamin D

Vitamin D is one of a kind vitamin that is very important. It works as a steroid hormone in the human body. The skin generates vitamin D after exposure to ultra violet rays from the sun. This is how people get their everyday requirement since the beginning of evolution. Unfortunately, currently a huge part of the world does not get enough of this crucial nutrient due to certain weather patterns. In many places around the world, the sun is not always available throughout the year.

Even where the sun is present throughout the year, people opt to stay indoors most of the time and apply sunscreen when they are outdoors, but sunscreen effectively prevents the generation of vitamin D in the skin.

If you do not have enough vitamin D, then you actually lack enough major hormones in your body, and lack of vitamin D results in a number of serious diseases such as diabetes, cancer, rickets and many other risky diseases.

The best way to find out is to see a doctor, and have your blood levels checked. But unfortunately, it is very difficult to get enough vitamin D from the food you eat. If getting enough vitamins from the sun is not possible, taking vitamin D3 supplement or cod fish liver oil everyday is an effective way to curb a deficiency.

Refined Carbohydrates are not good for you

There are very many different opinions on fat and carbs.

Some people feel that fat is the root of all unhealthiness, while others think carbs are main players in obesity and other dangerous diseases. But the fact is that refined carbohydrates are worse compared to unrefined carbohydrates. There are certain nutrients rich in carbs like grains that have health benefits with few chances of being overweight.

However, when processing grains, you get rid off most of the nutrients and then there is nothing left, just the unhealthy stuff, and the huge amounts of glucose that can easily be digested. Consuming refined carbs will result in rapid levels of blood sugar, followed by an insulin surge that will trigger the storage of fat and contribute to resistance of insulin and a number of diseases like obesity and diabetes. Whole grains and unrefined carbohydrates are a better alternative to the refined and processed ones.


Supplements Cannot Act as Alternatives to Real Food

Nutrition suggests that foods are nothing more than the overall of their individual nutrients. It is a misconception that most nutrition enthusiasts mostly fall into, which is actually not correct. Nuts, for instance, are not just shells rich in Omega 6 fatty acids, and also fruits are not just bags rich in fructose, they are real foods with a high levels of trace nutrients.

The vitamins and nutrients that you can also get from multivitamins are just a small portion of the overall amount of nutrients found in food. Thus, supplements found in the markets today, cannot act as an alternative to the nutrients you receive from real foods. However, supplements can be beneficial, especially for nutrients that lack in the diet such as Vitamin D and Magnesium.

But no number of supplements can ever make up for an unhealthy diet. The bottom line is, it is much better to consume real food that are full of nutrients rather than depend on supplements to supply you with the nutrients needed.


Diets are Not the Solution to Lifestyle Change 

Diets may offer you short term solutions when it comes to losing weight, but the moment you begin eating junk food again, the weight will find its way back again and you will find yourself battling with weight issues one more time. This is usually referred to as yo-yo dieting and is very common. Most individuals that loose weight very fast after using a diet pill end up regaining it back whenever the stop taking the diet. As a result, the only thing that can offer you long term and effective results is to have a healthy lifestyle change which involves eating the right kind of foods and exercising regularly. Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the only method to make sure your weight is managed and you have a better improved health.



Unprocessed Food is the Most Healthy

Processed food is not healthy. Because food system is now more than ever industrialized, the health of the population has gone from bad to worse. When food is being processed, most of the important nutrients in the food are removed. Not only do they take off the healthy nutrients such as fiber, they also add other ingredients that are not healthy such as added sugar, trans fats and wheat that is refined.

In addition, food that is processed is loaded with so many artificial chemicals that have not yet been proven to be safe for long term human consumption and have been proven to cause adverse health effects to when consumed in excess.. The bottom line is processed foods have lower levels of the healthy benefits and a lot more of the unhealthy stuff. The most crucial thing to do is to make sure that your health is at its optimal, is to consume the real foods, but just the real food, but the healthy kind of food. You should stay from food made in the factory.

A poor diet leads to energy imbalances, such that too much calories inhibits proper physical activity and increases the chances of one becoming overweight, getting lung diseases, not being forgetting prone to prostrate cancer. People who eat fast foods one or more times in a week are more prone to weight gain which later results to obesity. Good nutrition will result in optimal growth and development. It will keep high levels of cholesterol, high blood pressure at bay and the chances of developing chronic diseases will be minimal.

It may take a little time to check the food labels and get foods that are healthy, but if you wish to remain healthy and fit, being cautious when choosing your food will in the long run be worth your time and money. 

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