Monday, March 18, 2013 • Hartville, OH 44632
March is National Nutrition Month. So let's talk..... What you eat really does affect all realms of you. From the way you feel, sleep, think, your weight, your organs, sickness, and disease. "Nutrition is material in the form of food to support or damage our life."
A poor diet usually has an impact on our health, causing deficiency diseases such; health-threatening conditions like obesity; and common chronic systemic diseases as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
A healthy diet contains not only the proper foods but an appropriate caloric intake. Cutting out simple carbohydrates, increasing natural fiber, and eating more fresh fruits and vegetables is a good start. Track your food portions, and instead of eating large volume meals, eat smaller but more frequent meals and healthy snacks.
You may be asking, "How do I know exactly what I need?" Below is some information that hopefully will educate and help you get on the right track for making small changes that will last a lifetime.
Carbohydrates are broken down by the digestive system into simple sugars. When these sugars are delivered to your cells by going through the bloodstream with the help of insulin, they provide energy for your body. They come in two forms: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are sugars that do not need to be broken down any further so your body can use them for a quick burst of energy. Honey, maple syrup, soda, cookies, candy, table sugar, and cakes are examples of simple sugars. Complex carbohydrates are larger, are digested more slowly, and provide longer lasting energy. Foods that you should choose most often are vegetables, beans (legume) and whole-grain like brown rice, high-fiber, wheat breads and pastas.
Your body needs fat for proper brain development and to absorb certain vitamins. There are two main types of fat: saturated and unsaturated. Unsaturated fat is found in salmon, tuna, nuts, seeds, avocados, and most vegetable oils. Saturated fats are found in red meat, butter, cheese, milk (except fat-free), ice cream, coconut and palm oils. There are also trans fats which are in most processed foods and formed when liquid vegetable oils go through a chemical process called hydrogenation, which makes the oils more solid. You want to try and stay away from trans fats.
Protein is what makes up your muscles, skin, and organs. Your digestive system breaks down protein into amino acids. Amino acids are what your body uses to build and repair cells and tissues. You will find protein in meat, milk, fish, eggs, beans, nuts, seeds, and soy. Even if you are trying to lose weight and drop your calorie intake, women should have at least 60 grams of protein a day and men 75 grams. This will help you feel full and prevent muscle loss.
If you want a good guide to help you track how many calories, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins you should have a day, try myfitnesspal.com. It's a free app that you can use on your computer, Ipod, Ipad, and smart phone. All you need to do is enter your information and it will do the rest for you.