A good nutrition is the solution to a healthy body. It gives you the energy your body needs to maintain proper functioning, activities and weight, whilst an inadequate diet can weaken your entire immune system.
We all know the basic principles of a healthy diet: eat more vegetables and fruits, less sugar and salt and as much as possible avoid processed or refined foods. But is it that simple? Is that all there is to it? What about proteins, carbohydrates, fiber and all the things we keep reading in every article on food and diet? You're right — the world makes it a little complicated. Although nutrition can be an extremely complicated area, eating healthy is simple. Here are 5 facts that we think everyone should know about nutrition.
- Nonfat fat
You avoid eating it and work on the treadmill to burn it off. But fat, it turns out, can be your friend! In order to have a proper functioning, your body needs it. Fats help you absorb vitamins A, D, and E, which are vital for your nervous system. Of your total daily calories, 25 to 30 percent should come from fat. Of course, we are talking about good-for-you fats and not the bad kinds. According to research, unsaturated fats raise your good cholesterol, help your arteries and prevent belly fat. Where you'll find them: In olive oil and olives, canola oil, almonds, cashews, peanuts, sesame seeds, and avocados.
- "Natural" does not necessarily mean "healthy"
It's true, better to choose natural foods instead of processed ones. However, there are many examples of so-called natural foods that are very harmful. I'm sure you've heard about agave nectar, a very popular syrup in the community of those who promote "natural health". If we look at its nutritional composition, we notice that it contains even more fructose than regular sugar. Fructose is the unhealthiest part of sugar and agave syrup is full of it, which makes it even unhealthier than regular sugar.
- Refined vegetable oils should be avoided
Vegetable oils, like soybean, corn and canola oils, are extracted from seeds using harsh processing methods. These oils are full of trans fats, which are very toxic and associated with metabolic problems and heart disease. It is best to consume natural and healthy fats such as coconut oil and butter and extra virgin olive oil.
- Meat does not rot in your colon
One of the most ridiculous myths of meat is that it rots in the colon. Our digestive system is well "equipped" to digest meat in order to use its wide range of proteins, fats and nutrients, such as iron, zinc and B vitamins. Meat will generally leave the stomach in 2-3 hours and be fully digested in 4-6 hours.
- Eating carbs won't make you fat
You won’t gain weight from eating carbohydrates unless you are taking in more than what your body can burn for daily activity. However, the type of carbs you consume can make a difference. You can get the best sources of carbs from whole wheat products, oatmeal and whole grain cereals, brown rice or lentils.
- “No Fat” & “Low-Fat” labeled foods should be avoided
Natural foods taste horrible when the fat has been removed from them. That is why, when the fat is removed, a whole bunch of sugar and artificial chemicals are added to make up for the lack of fat. Most low-fat foods have had the fat removed, only to be replaced with something much worse.
- No processed junk food
Always stick to unprocessed foods that resemble what they looked like in nature. If the ingredients list has more than 5 items, or chemical sounding names that you don’t understand, then it’s most probably bad for you. Keep in mind that real food doesn’t even need an ingredients list, because real food IS the ingredient.
Bottom line? It still comes down to the same old advice: try eating more whole grains, vegetables and fruits, and fewer sweets, processed and refined foods. Don’t freak out if you can’t, but slowly move in this direction for best health.